When children can't live safely at home, CPS tries to find relatives and family friends who can provide stability while the children can't live with their parents (see kinship care). If no one can be found, the court can give temporary legal custody to CPS, who then places the children in foster care (learn more). DFPS offers many resources for people who want to become foster parents, or who already have, or who want to foster as a first step towards adoption. Many of these resources can be found on the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE).

What is Foster Care

When children can't live safely at home and no appropriate non-custodial parent, relative, for close family friend is willing and able to care for them, the court can give temporary legal possession to CPS. CPS temporarily places these children in foster care. Foster care settings include:

  • Foster family homes.
  • Foster family group homes.
  • Residential group care facilities.
  • Facilities overseen by another state agency.

Foster care is meant to be temporary until a permanent living arrangement is found. However, it can become permanent - usually when a foster parent adopts or accepts permanent managing conservatorship of a child.

CPS strives to ensure quality services for children in foster care. However, children in foster care may have to change placements several times while in foster care due to a variety of factors such as licensing standards violations, court rulings, or changes in the foster home or facility. CPS has a variety of initiatives designed to increase placement options to better match the needs of each individual child.

Community Based Care

Community Based Care is a new way of providing foster care and case management services that calls on a community-based approach to meeting the individual and unique needs of children, youth, and families. Within a geographic service area, a single contractor is responsible for finding foster homes or other living arrangements for children in state care and providing them a full continuum of services.

The purpose is to improve the overall well-being of children in foster care and to keep them closer to home and connected with their communities and siblings. Learn more about Community Based Care.