Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering what it takes to become a foster parent through The Bair Foundation? We've got answers.

Families who have welcomed foster children into their home often say it is among the most rewarding experiences of their lives. However, this is a major life decision, and you undoubtedly have questions. The good news is you’re not alone. Get answers to some of the most common questions below or contact us today to learn more.

General Questions

  • The Bair Foundation is a Christ-centered, therapeutic agency investing in the social, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of the children and teens we serve. With over 50 years of experience in child welfare and family services, we have built and maintained an exceptional reputation throughout our community and with our local counties. Bair provides safe homes for over 2,500 foster children annually, facilitates the adoption of over 300 foster children each year, and provides clinical services to families in crisis.
  • Bair has been nationally accredited since 2002 and (re-accredited every four years) by the Council of Accreditation (COA). COA has over 40 years of experience in promoting best practice standards. Our accreditation represents Bair’s drive to always provide the highest quality of care.
  • When others say No, Bair says YES! We believe that every child matters and Bair actively recruit families who can keep siblings together, families who feel called to champion older foster youth, families for medically fragile children with special needs, and families whose calling might be to mentor and provide a home for a teen mom and her baby.

The Bair Foundation provides an array of services that include various levels of Foster Care, Foster-to-Adopt, Clinical Services, Kinship Care, and Path to Permanency.

  • Therapeutic Foster Care involves caring for children or adolescents with emotional, behavioral, social, or medical issues— who would benefit from being in a family who has received specialized training to meet their needs.
  • Traditional Foster Care (also referred to as standard or basic care) involves caring for children who are taken from their parents due to abuse or neglect, but whose needs do not require the same level of intensive support and services required in therapeutic foster care.
  • The Bair Foundation provides both Therapeutic and Traditional Foster Care.

The Bair Foundation is located in several states and is licensed to care for foster youth ages 0-18. (in some cases and states, children can remain in a Bair home until age 21)

The average time a child stays in foster care at the Bair Foundation is 13.5 months; however, a child may be in your home for a couple of weeks, months or even a few years. The length of stay depends on the needs of the child and his/her parent`s participation in their service plan.

Although you will not be able to specifically choose the child you foster, you are able to choose the age and gender that you prefer.

The Bair Foundation will match the strengths of the foster family with the needs of the child.

More than half of the children in foster care will be reunified with their parents or primary caregivers, and nearly one-quarter will be adopted, many by their foster parents.

In many cases, foster parents who have already established a bond with the foster child, are given the first opportunity to adopt a child who cannot be reunited with his or her birth parents or other relatives.

Most adoptions from foster care in the United States are free.

We are not affiliated with any denomination; however, The Bair Foundation is guided by biblical principles. We are also free to share and discuss our faith with others.

Still have more General questions?

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The difference between foster care and adoption is  foster care is meant to be temporary, while adoption is permanent. Foster-to-adopt means adopting a child through the foster care system to provide them with a permanent “forever” home.

There are approximately 425,000 children and teens in foster care in the United States; one-fourth of them are available for adoption.

Many times, while a child is in a foster home, they become eligible for adoption. Because of their commitment to the children placed in their home, the foster family can make the decision to adopt these children once the parental rights have been terminated.

If a child cannot go back home, permanency is the best option.

No, The Bair Foundation actively recruits families who are willing to foster a child temporarily in order to help biological families in crisis.

The average time to adopt from foster care can vary significantly. In general, the process takes approximately 9–18 months but can be longer. Several factors that may affect the timing include the termination of the biological rights, whether or not the family has fostered the child, and legalities that could hold up the process.

The foster-to-adopt timeline will look different for every family.

Most adoptions through foster care are at no expense to their family.

You do not have to own a home in order to adopt a child from foster care.

There is no upper age limit for parents interested in adopting from the foster care system.

Most children in foster care who are available for adoption are school-aged or older.

  • Many of these older children have been in the foster care system for years; you could be the one to show them that they matter by providing them a forever home.
  • Adopting an older child can be a wonderful way to expand and grow your family.
  • Thousands of teens in foster care are looking for a permanent family, safe home, and a committed adult they can depend on before they age out of foster care.
  • We believe that all children, of every age, should be able to find their forever family.

Contact your local Bair Foundation office, attend an information session, pre-service training and complete the certification process to become a foster-to-adopt parent.

Let our recruiter know that it is your intention to adopt a foster child, the age and gender you desire and they will begin the dual-license (foster and foster-to-adopt) process with you.

Find out more about our Foster Care Services

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Full-Time Foster Care

  • Must be 21 or older
  • Pre-service trainings – (the number of hours depends on the state)
  • CPR and First Aid
  • References
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Application
  • Home Study
  • Home Safety Check
  • Specialized Trainings
  • Have a car, valid car insurance and a suitable DMV report
  • Have some flexibility in your schedule to accommodate the foster children’s court-ordered visits, therapy, medical appointments, etc.

You can own or rent a home or apartment as a foster parent. The only requirement is that there must be adequate space for the child and their belongings. (The amount of space is determined by the state regulations.)

No. Single persons and unmarried couples can also become approved as foster parents. A good support system is always recommended.


A foster parent must prove financial stability and be able to cover their expenses without depending on the foster care stipend.

Yes, you are reimbursed an amount each month, which sufficiently covers the expenses incurred to care for the placed child/youth.

The intent of the foster care stipend is to offset the additional costs of having foster children in the home.

The amount of the monthly stipend varies from state to state.

Children in foster care are insured through Medicaid.

Yes! Traveling with your foster child can help them feel more integrated into your family. However, before traveling you must communicate your plans to your case manager and consider whether your vacation will overlap with any of the following: court-ordered visitation, scheduled court appearances, medical appointments, or therapy session.

Some counties may require a court order.

Orientations and trainings are held monthly. Just call one of the Bair Foundations’ local offices Locations to begin the process.

Both spouses must attend training, but we will try to work around your schedule.

Because the need for families is so great, our goal is to get a family through the certification process within 2-3 months.

At this time, most offices are unable to provide childcare.

The home study is scheduled within the month after the training begins and usually takes 1-3 visits depending on the state and regulations.

A child can be placed soon after a family is certified. We do not have any control over the referrals we receive, so if the family has limited themselves by specifying a certain age ; gender, it may take longer.

Foster care applicants will be denied if they have committed a felony, child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse or crimes against children. Violent crimes such as rape, sexual assault and homicide convictions will also be automatic disqualifiers.

The Bair Foundation also has a Risk Committee that evaluates individuals who have had hits on their background checks for appropriateness of providing foster care services.

The Bair Foundation provides exceptional 24/7 support through its Christ-centered staff. We offer on-going support groups with meaningful, relevant topics and speakers, foster parent appreciation dinners, summer picnics and Christmas parties

Case Management – Regular Home Visits and On-Call for crisis

Respite care services are designed to offer a relief from fostering children. Respite is not a babysitting service; it is there to assist families and to give the caregiver a short break.

Bair provides Respite two days a month and days can be accumulated. Days are determined by state regulations.

Find out more about our Foster Care Services

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Respite Care

A Respite Foster Parent provides periodic weekend or short-term care to a child or teen who is in the full-time care of another Bair foster parent.

  • You are interested in helping foster youth and doing something meaningful, but do not want to foster full time.
  • When you become a respite foster parent, you are helping foster parents get a much-needed break and foster children get individual attention.
  • It gives you time to decide if full-time fostering is a good fit for your family.
  • Respite foster parents have the opportunity to make a huge impact in the lives of foster children.
  • Attend an information session
  • Must be 21 years old or older
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Pre-service Training – hours types/topics are determined by individual state regulations
  • May need to provide financial documentation – dependent on state regulations.
  • A home study may be required – depends on state regulations

You do not need to be married in order to provide respite care for our foster children.

  • A Respite Provider does not have to own their own home; however, one-bedroom apartments are not desirable.
  • Foster children cannot sleep in a common area such as the hallway or living room.

Placements generally last 1-2 days; however it could be longer depending on the foster family’s situation and required approvals.

When a family needs assistance, we will call you and see if you have availability for the specific needs regarding the respite request. You can say yes or no. It’s always up to you!

Case Management and On-call support is provided to Respite Providers.

Respite Providers do receive a stipend. Daily rate is determined by the state.

  • The number of children you can provide care for is determined by the number of biological children you have plus space available in the home.
  • Most states limit the combination of bio and foster children to a maximum of 6 and may have square footage/bedroom requirements.

Find out more about our Foster Care Services

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Professional Therapeutic Foster Care

Professional Therapeutic Foster Care is a short-term, 6-9 month, intensive, family-based level of care. PTFC parents provide quality care, high levels of support and structure in a family home environment to foster children who have experienced extreme trauma.

  • PTFC is an alternative to a more restrictive environment, such as a residential treatment facility or hospital.
  • PTFC is intended to stabilize some of the most behaviorally challenged children through consistency and unconditional love in a home setting, while preparing them to transition into a permanency option.
  • Provide a stable and nurturing home environment to a child that has experienced severe trauma
  • Must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete Pre-Service Training
  • Must be certified in CPR/First Aid
  • Must pass a Complete Background Check
  • Must be able to meet the Home Study requirements including a physical property check
  • Will provide all necessary transportation for the child in care
  • Must have one stay-at-home parent or flexible schedule
  • Experience working with challenging children is preferred
  • You can make a significant impact in the life of a child
  • You will receive unprecedented 24/7 support, increased case management and crisis intervention.
  • You will be a member of a team consisting of a Case Manager, Clinical Support Specialist, Therapist, and other specialists.
  • Full-time family income potential

Families may foster only 1-2 children at a time.

  • The daily stipend is significantly higher for this specialized foster care program because it requires one parent to stay home.
  • PTFC families will receive $137/day (Tax-Free) up to $50,000 per year
  • PTFC is a program dedicated to the restoration of children and teens who have experienced extreme trauma.
  • Therapeutic Foster Care is similar, whereas the children also have emotional, behavioral and medical needs, although they are less severe.

PTFC is offered in several TX offices including: Amarillo, Lubbock, Harlingen, and San Antonio

Find out more about our Foster Care Services

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Kinship Care

Kinship care is defined as the full-time care, support, and protection of a child by relatives, godparents, stepparents, or other adults who have a family relationship or bond to the child (known as fictive-kin). Grandparents and other relatives become the primary caregivers for children whose parents cannot or will not care for them due to substance abuse, illness and death, abuse and neglect, economic hardship, incarceration, divorce, domestic violence, and other family crises.

Kinship care helps preserve a child’s cultural identity and relationship to their community. Children in a kinship home are more likely to stay connected to their extended family and maintain their cultures, customs and critical family connections.

Kinship care can reduce the additional trauma children experience from being placed with strangers, and can help to reinforce their identity and feelings of safety and security.

There are over 2.6 million children in Kinship care in the United States according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Some kinship caregivers choose to be involved in “formal kinship” care where they become licensed as a foster home and receive a daily stipend and all of the supports that are involved with foster care.

Other kinship caregivers choose to be “informal kinship” where they are eligible to receive some supports such as health care, food assistance, etc. however; they do not receive case management supports.

All children belong in families, preferably their own. When children cannot live with their parents because the environment is not safe, they should have every opportunity to live safely with relatives or fictive kin. Formal kinship caregivers have access to the full array of training, services, and supports available through treatment foster care. These supports significantly increases the chance for a successful outcome for the child(ren).

  • Taking care of a relative’s child can cause emotional and financial hardship and additional stress when there is no support or someone to turn to for help.
  • The supported environment of Formal Kinship Care provides the tools and support needed to maintain a successful kinship placement
  • Formal Kinship providers receive a stipend to cover the additional expense of taking care of kin.
  • Children removed from their biological parents are better able to adjust to their new environment when they are able to live with a relative or someone they share a bond with, such as a teacher, coach, or parent of a child’s school friend.

Many states have now adopted a process called “Kinship Navigator” programs where both formal and informal caregivers can call or visit a website designed just for their local area and receive coaching and other supports by a trained professional who understands the kinship process. Bair is the Prime Contractor for the Kinship Navigator program in Pennsylvania known as, “KinConnector“.

The Bair Foundation works directly with the local Children and Youth office for all Kinship formalized kinship caregivers and provides case management supports to the child(ren). In some states, the formalized case management can occur on the first day of the certification/licensing process. In other states, a child will begin receiving services once the family is formally licensed as a caregiver.

Caseworkers try to identify and locate a relative or fictive kin caregiver who can safely care for the children while parents receive services to help them address the issues that brought the children to the attention of child welfare. Bair can assist with reunification services and supports through in-home, Path to Permanency, or Kindred Roots programming depending on which state the family is providing care. To learn more about these supports, please contact your local Bair office.

Once a kinship family is referred to The Bair Foundation for kinship treatment foster care, The Bair Foundation certifies the family on average, within 60 days.

The Bair Foundation will work closely with you to help you obtain your criminal background check, home study, and training to become a Kinship provider.

Find out more about our Kinship Services

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With 250,000 children entering foster care each year, our work is never done.

You can take the first step toward providing the loving home that every kid deserves.

Become a Foster parent