HEART TO HEART: Adoption Process


ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) - Nearly 29,000 children are in foster care in the state of Texas, according to adoptuskids.org.

Pathways Youth and Family Services is a licensed child placing agency that is committed to trying to decrease that number.

Catherine Earley is the North Texas Regional Director for Pathways.

She said the first thing is understanding how trauma affects behavior.

"Trauma-informed care is really an approach to teaching families about how to work with children who have been through difficult situations," Earley said.

Children coming from hard places are going to have some behaviors or some fears like as anybody would.

"We make sure to focus on training the families so that they know what to do in the cases of those behaviors," Earley said.

Families begin with information sessions, orientation sessions and emergency behavior intervention trainings. All of this is to help parents learn the basics of working with children.

Earley said Pathways helps adoptive and foster parents to be able to predict things that might be needed down the road, given the child's background.

"We can go ahead and start to set up therapuetic relationships even before the child gets into a crisis moment," Earley said.

Every child's case is individualized because every child has different needs that come up at different stages of life.

"Once a child is placed in the home, a family specialist works hand-in-hand with that family to support the family with any behaviors that might come up," Earley said.

Foster kids are never placed into a home until after a foster home has completed the training and gets the license.

The State of Texas requires this and can take about 30 to 90 days, depending on several factors like training and home study.

However, in order to be an adoptive parent, you must be certified.

This takes six weeks to six months and will require you make an account on the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) website, where you can match with children waiting for adoptive parents.

Pathways is an expert in the training and support of families who want to foster or adopt.

The organization has served 25,000 families in 25 years.

If you would to know more about the adoption process, you may call the local Pathways office at (325) 692-4048

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