Father and Daughter

What Is Foster Care?

Meeting The Need

Foster care can include a variety of arrangements in which children receive full-time care outside of their own homes. Today, there are more than 400,000 children in the United States in foster programs.  

What foster care looks like

Children enter foster care when their family is going through a crisis or is otherwise unable to care for them. 

The Bair Foundation serves foster children and teens from ages birth to twenty-one.  As a therapeutic foster care agency, many of those in our care are suffering from past trauma. 

Reasons a child may enter foster care can include:

  • Abuse or neglect
  • Unaddressed behavioral problems
  • Abandonment
  • Incarceration of parents
  • Death of a caregiver

Foster families help keep these kids safe when they’re in vulnerable situations. The time a child spent in foster care can last from less than a month to many years. 

People from a variety of backgrounds can become certified to become a foster parent. You may be single, married, widowed, divorced or an empty-nester; and you may own or rent or own your home.

Foster parents must be financially stable as well as successfully complete the required training and background checks. In addition, foster parents should also have a good support system in place such as immediate family, church family or friends. 

Types of Foster Care

Full-Time Foster Care: A child lives with your family until they can safely be returned to their home or a permanent alternative, such as adoption, becomes available.  

Respite Care: You provide part-time care of another family’s foster children, giving the parents important time to refresh and regroup or meet other obligations.   

Kinship: A child is placed in the care of a relative, family friend or somebody with whom they already share a close bond. 

Professional Foster Care (Texas Only): Families that take in children who require specialized care can receive a tax-free reimbursement. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Must be 21 or older 
  • Pre-service trainings – (# 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.

Every year, more than half a million children are the victims of abuse and neglect.

When these children enter foster care, we provide foster families with the support they need to turn tragedy into hope.

Become a Foster parent