The number of foster children in need of homes in Fort Bend and Harris counties far outnumbers the number of foster families with rooms available between the same county lines, according to data from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
The most recent DFPS data available shows in the month of March, there were 2,332 children in need of homes in the Harris County foster care system and 119 children in need of homes in the Fort Bend foster care system.
Sameisha Adolph-Frazier, Houston director for Foster in Texas, said she believes the Katy area needs more foster families. Foster in Texas, a division of Austin-based Upbring that operates the Krause Children’s Center in Katy, seeks to find homes for foster and adopted children.
“We have about 65 families total [in Houston], and only five of them come from the Katy area,” Adolph-Frazier said. “That tells you there’s definitely a deficit in that area and [a need for] making sure we get [out] the word to find families and homes for the children. It’s a little bit slower than most areas for whatever reason.”
Of the 2,451 children who need homes in Harris and Fort Bend counties in March, 1,465 children were placed in homes within county lines and 709 were placed in other counties within Region 6—which encompasses 13 counties in southeast Texas. An additional 293 children had to be placed in foster homes outside the region due to a lack of internal resources, and five children did not receive a placement—all of which were from Harris County—according to DFPS data.
In addition to weakening family relationships, relocating a child outside his or her county hinders the normalcy of a child’s life, which is a top priority for foster care agencies, said Leshia Fisher, Child Protective Services regional director for DFPS.
“When children are not placed in their home areas, it impacts them in a multitude of ways—they are suffering losses in family connection, lost friendships, losses…