Texas' Fostering Connections effort kicks into gear
Assistance for relative caregivers available under new state program
AUSTIN - Today, Oct. 1, 2010, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' (DFPS) new Permanency Care Assistance program becomes fully operational. The program was created through legislation authored by State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) during the 2009 legislative session. The new law holds the promise of better outcomes for children who are not able to be adopted and would otherwise grow up in foster care.
The Permanency Care Assistance Program provides financial assistance to relatives who first become foster parents, care for the child or youth for six months, and then accept permanent legal custody of the child. At that point, the family becomes eligible for financial assistance the same as with traditional foster care programs. By law, compensation eligibility to families under the Permanency Care program goes into effect today (Oct. 1, 2010).
- The first family to complete program requirements - including gaining full custody of the child - will begin to receive financial assistance through the state.
- Another 129 children now live with relatives who have become foster parents to take advantage of the new program and are expected to accept custody over the next few months.
"All too often kids in foster care find themselves in tough situations through no fault of their own," said Sen. West. "They need our help. Because studies show children do better when placed with relatives, this program provides the financial assistance many relatives need when they want to help by taking a child into their home. In addition to providing better outcomes for the kids, the program saves the state money, because it costs less than foster care."
DFPS officials estimate that had the Permanency Care program not been created, those 129 children could have spent a collective 1,000 years in foster care before aging out as they became adults. Persons interested in the Permanency Care Assistance Program should contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
For more information please contact:
DFPS Local (Region 3): Melody Rockwell - 972-820-1901; firstname.lastname@example.org;
State Office: Cory Jones - 512-438-4352; email@example.com; or Fostering Connections mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org.