One of the oldest and most beneficial non-profit organizations in all of Ellis County is Texas Baptist Home for Children, better known as TBHC Foster Care & Adoption.
Since 1910, this organization has served the children of Texas and helped counties in North Texas and the Permian Basin.
Their primary focus is to serve children and families through foster care (through recruitment, training, resources and family support); assisting with adoptions (private infant adoption as well as kin and matched adoptions); and provide teenage pregnancy care services.
TBHC employees in Waxahachie number 30 at their current location at 629 Farley St.
Adoption The adoption supervisor for TBHC is Cashlee Fox, BA. Below, she shares the process of a successful adoption.
“Our families must meet certain requirements and go through several training sessions through our pre-service service (applications, questionnaires and in-depth interviews) before becoming a verified or approved family with TBHC,” she said. “Once this process is complete, a family will be waiting to be matched with a child. Then the child or children are placed in the family home, if parental rights have already been terminated, then the child will have to live in their home for at least six months before the family can finalize the actual adoption. Throughout these six months, the family builds a stronger relationship and continues to provide a safe and loving home for the child/children.
Cox said, “We don’t have the exact number of adoptive children awaiting permanent placement, but we do receive broadcasts from children from across the state of Texas. Most children are either older, siblings or have special needs. These children, in particular, need a family that is ready to guide them, support them, and offer them unconditional love no matter what.
Regarding the cost of adoptions through TBCH, a family will not pay this entity a service fee to become a matched/straight adoption family verified with their agency, but recommends that the prospective parent(s) have ‘about $500 to $1,000 aside. to cover expenses and purchases.
There will be a collection of documentation and necessary items throughout the process and for their home. For example, fingerprints for background checks cost around $40. Likewise, items such as fire extinguishers, proper storage equipment for firearms, and locked medicine boxes/containers should be purchased for the home.
However, TBHC pre-employment training and other training required by DFPS are free. Additionally, they recommend that families have approximately $1,200 to $5,000 for legal fees associated with finalizing the adoption. However, if the children placed for adoption are eligible for a subsidy, this can serve as a waiver to cover their legal fees when finalizing the adoption.
To be eligible for a grant, a placement must be 6 years of age or older if Caucasian, 2 years or older if racial/ethnic minority, have a lifelong disabling condition or be a sibling group of two or more people. If a child or group of siblings qualifies for a subsidy, they will also receive ongoing monthly reimbursements based on the children’s level of care.
With respect to TBHC’s private infant adoption program, there are certain costs associated with this process and information is provided below: Fees for private infant adoptions will be on a sliding scale, using 20% of the average annual gross income of the adoptive family. over the past two years, with minimum fees of $15,000 and no more than $30,000. The only other costs that would be passed on to the adoptive parent(s) are medical expenses over $5,000 and travel expenses outside of a 100-mile radius of Waxahachie.
Fees will be broken down as follows: * $100 application fee, plus 20% * $100 seminar fee, plus 20% * $1,000 home study fee, of which $500 are due prior to home study and $500 is due upon home study approval. The home study fee will be deducted from the 20% adoption fee.
*Half of the remaining fees will be due to the placement and the other half will be divided into six monthly installments during the six-month supervision period. All charges must be paid in full prior to consumption. The adoptive family is responsible for all legal costs associated with consumption.
Host family TBCH’s Laure Henthorn is their donor engagement manager, and she reveals how someone can be approved to be an adoptive parent.
She said: “The approval process varies from agency to agency. Although we all work for similar ends, all agencies have their own mission and purpose. TBHC’s supremely important purpose is to glorify God by caring for children, and their special mission is to care for children and families by providing stability, discovering self-worth, and achieving true healing in Christ. This translates into agency-specific requirements where families must be active members of a denominational or non-denominational Christian church. Within their church, a family should select a church connection reference who is willing to write a reference letter about the family regarding their spiritual development and character. Additionally, families must sign our Declaration of Faith in which they agree to uphold TBHC’s Christian beliefs within their household. Also, TBHC allows married couples who have been married for two years or more and single parents, but it will not allow unmarried couples, romantic/engaged couples, or separated married couples. Other requirements are: must live within 75 miles of a branch, must be over 21, and must not have had any major life experience in the past year. »
Henthorn also said, “Once a family meets the most basic requirements of TBHC and is committed to moving forward, they will go through a 5-step licensing process. This endeavor usually takes three to six months, but it depends on the family’s ability to complete all the required materials in a timely manner. During the licensing process, a family must have: approved background checks, approved finances, an approved home study, a home that meets minimum standards, and have completed all required training. The licensing process is an evaluation procedure, so a family must be approved in all areas and have the ability to turn in submitted material in a timely manner in order to obtain an official license.
TBHC acknowledges that they do not have the exact number of children who fall into the “Child Without Placement” category. However, senior management confirms that with respect to foster homes for their Region 3, they are meeting their baseline capacity for foster care.
But, they said they desperately needed homes that could accommodate children 14 and older, as well as specialist-level children, and homes that would be willing to keep groups of siblings together. These types of children are in urgent need of willing and good foster parents. How Ellis County Residents Can Help Henthorn said, “We always need loving families who are willing to open their homes to children who have experienced trauma, and funding is continually needed to support affected children involved in our programs and services. It costs TBHC approximately $35 per day for 1 foster child – above what the state covers. We also have special needs during back to school and especially at Christmas that require additional funding.
TBHC of Ellis County’s greatest needs are families willing to open their hearts and homes to help these children who are in desperate need of loving homes.
They could use a good financial push to help them meet their funding challenges in today’s tough economy.
If you would like more information or to learn more about ways to support their mission, contact TBHC at tbhc.org or call 972-937-1321.