Methodist Children’s Home: offering hope since 1890
Special to INSPIRE COASTAL BEND
What is foster care?
Foster care is a protective service for children, adolescents and families. The children and adolescents are provided with a substitute or supplemental family life experience in an agency-approved or licensed home for a temporary, set period of time. Parents of these children and adolescents should receive support in working toward family reunification – which is the primary goal of foster care – or an alternate permanent plan for their children.
Foster parenting is not a lifetime commitment to a child, but a commitment to being meaningful in a child’s lifetime. Foster care often means families helping families. Factors that lead to out-of-home placement are poverty, unemployment, underemployment, mental health issues, abuse/neglect, family violence, homelessness, additions, no support system for family and incarceration.
There are more than 30,000 children in foster care in Texas. When family members are not found or are not a current option, children are placed in foster homes licensed by the state. When foster homes are not available, children are placed in emergency shelters, residential treatment centers or other facilities. Foster homes are preferred, but there are a limited number of families willing and/or licensed to take on this responsibility in our area.
All children need loving, nurturing, stable families who can walk alongside them as they journey through the unknown, protecting them from further abuse and neglect.
Who are we?
Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) provides services to more than 1,400 children and youth daily through residential care at the Waco campus and Boys Ranch near Axtell, as well as foster care and other services. MCH Family Outreach offices are located in Abilene; Albuquerque, N.M.; Corpus Christi; Dallas; El Paso; Houston; Lubbock; Lufkin; North Richland Hills; San Antonio; Tyler; and Waco.
MCH Family Outreach offers services to help meet the needs of children and families, including family solutions, the Grandparents as Parents program (GAPP), parent education (the Nurturing Parenting program) and foster care. Services are designed to help meet the needs of families with one or more children between the ages of 0 and 17. Whether it is illness, conflict, school difficulties or parenting challenges, families facing these situations can turn to the caring, professional staff at MCH Family Outreach.
How do you start?
Foster parents must pass a series of background and criminal history checks, and must provide evidence of a responsible and stable home environment and lifestyle. They also must adhere to state guidelines for foster homes, as well as MCH policy and procedures.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, consider attending a foster parent orientation. Orientation is held on the first Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the MCH Family Outreach office located at 3833 South Staples St., Ste. N218, in Corpus Christi.