Foster Parent Resources
On this page, you will find information and resources to navigate parenting a child from hard places and paving a way through the Texas Foster Care System (DFPS).
Trust-Based Relational Intervention®
TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.
Who is it for and who should use it?
TBRI® is designed to meet the complex needs of children who have experienced adversity, early harm, toxic stress, and/or trauma. Because of their histories, it is often difficult for these children to trust the loving adults in their lives, which often results in perplexing behaviors. TBRI® offers practical tools for parents, caregivers, teachers, or anyone who works with children, to see the “whole child” in their care and help that child reach his highest potential.
Why use it?
Because of their histories, children who have experienced trauma have changes in their bodies, brains, behaviors, and belief systems. While a variety of parenting strategies may be successful in typical circumstances, children with histories of harm need caregiving that meets their unique needs and addresses the whole child. That said, we’ve found that any child benefits from a nurturing, trusting relationship with a safe adult.
Where is it used?
TBRI® is used worldwide in homes, residential facilities, group homes, schools, camps, schools, juvenile justice facilities, courts, with survivors of sex trafficking, in faith communities, courts, with law enforcement, in clinical practices and beyond.
How do you do it?
If you’d like to get started right away, we encourage you to look around our site for more information and resources. Reading our book, The Connected Child, or viewing any of our DVDs are both great places to start. TBRI® 101: A Self-Guided Course in Trust-Based Relationships also provides nearly eight hours of instruction on TBRI®. Parents can learn to implement Trust-based parenting in a variety of ways and we offer a few ideas on where to start on our parent resource page. Professionals can apply to attend our TBRI® Practitioner Training.
Where can I read about it?
Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., & Sunshine, W. L. (2007). The Connected
Child: Bringing hope and healing to your adoptive family. New York, NY:
Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., Dansereau, D. F., & Parris, S. R. (2013).
Trust-based relational intervention (TBRI®): A systematic approach to
complex developmental trauma. Child & Youth Services, 34(4), 1-28.
Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R., & Pennings, J. S. (2009). Trust-based
relational intervention: Interactive principles for adopted children with
special social-emotional needs. Journal of Humanistic Counseling,
Education, and Development, 48, 3-22.
Purvis, K. B., Parris, S. R., & Cross, D. R. (2011). Trust-based
relational intervention: Principles and practices. In Rosman, E. A.,
Johnson, C. E., & Callahan, N. M. (Eds.), Adoption factbook V (pp.
485-489). Alexandria, VA: National Council for Adoption.
Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. (2021, February 04). TBRI. Retrieved from child.tcu.edu:
DFPS Forms for Foster Parents
DFPS Adoption Resources
Thinking about adoption but not sure if you can afford all of the related expenses? The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has an adoption assistance program to help defray some of the costs associated with adoption of a child with special needs.
- Medicaid health care coverage for the adopted child. This benefit assists with the child’s medical and dental care, eye care, durable medical equipment and supplies, psychiatric/behavioral health care, and medical transportation.
- Reimbursement for certain one-time expenses relating to completing the adoption process (non-recurring adoption expenses). This benefit provides reimbursement up to $1,200 per adoption for reasonable and necessary adoption expenses directly related to completing the adoption process. These expenses may include fees paid directly to child placing agencies as well as court costs, attorney fees, and other fees directly related to the legal completion of the adoption.
- Monthly payments to assist with the child’s needs. The monthly adoption assistance payments are determined based upon the child’s special needs and the adoptive family’s circumstances. Assistance is considered for the following types of special needs:
- Exceptional initial placement expenses.
- Special maintenance.
- Child care.
- Supportive educational needs.
- Maintaining sibling/other family contact.
- Routine maintenance when needed.
DFPS provides adoption assistance from two sources. The first source is the:
- federal Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and
- Texas’ own state adoption assistance.
The following five requirements must be met for a child to be eligible for Title IV-E funded adoption assistance:
- The child must qualify as “special needs,” as described below, at the time the adoptive placement agreement is signed.
- Reasonable efforts must be made to place the child without adoption assistance, except when to do so is contrary to the child’s best interest.
- The child must be placed for adoption by DFPS, or a private, licensed, non-profit child-placing agency. For both relative and non-relative placements, the adoptive home must meet all of the requirements for approval under licensing minimum standards, including the criminal-records check.
- The child must be in an adoptive placement and meet one of the following four conditions:
- The child is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) during the adoptive placement,
- the child is AFDC eligible both in the month that court proceedings began that resulted in the order removing the child from the home and in the month the adoption petition is filed,
- the child was determined eligible for Title IV-E foster care assistance both at the time the child entered care and in the month the adoption petition is filed, or
- the child lives with a minor parent in foster care, and the child’s costs are included in the Title IV-E foster care payments being made on behalf of the minor parent.
- The adoption assistance agreement must be signed before the adoption is consummated.
The following six requirements must be met for a child to be eligible for state adoption assistance:
- The child must not be eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance.
- The child must qualify as “special needs,” as described below at the time the adoptive placement agreement is signed.
- Reasonable efforts must have been made to place the child without adoption assistance, except when to do so was contrary to the child’s best interest.
- The child must be placed in an approved adoptive placement with DFPS as the child’s managing conservator. For both relative and non-relative placements, the adoptive home must meet all of the requirements for approval under licensing minimum standards, including criminal records checks.
- The child’s resources must be less than $10,000.
- The adoption assistance agreement must be signed before the adoption is consummated.
These expenses may include fees paid directly to child placing agencies as well as court costs, attorney fees, and other fees directly related to the legal completion of the adoption.
Children who meet Title IV-E or state adoption assistance eligibility requirements automatically qualify for reimbursement of non-recurring adoption expenses.
However, reimbursement will not be made until the adoption is consummated. A separate request for adoption assistance is not necessary.
For adoptions that do not qualify for Title IV-E or state adoption assistance, the following four requirements must be met to gain reimbursement for non-recurring adoption expenses.
- The child must qualify as having “special needs” at the time an adoptive placement agreement is signed.
- The adoptive placement must occur in accordance with relevant state and federal laws relating to child placement.
- The adoptive parents must be residents of Texas.
- The adoptive parents must sign an agreement to receive reimbursement for non-recurring adoption expenses prior to consummation of the adoption.
By federal policy, stepparent adoptions do not qualify for nonrecurring adoption expense reimbursement.
An international adoption may qualify for this benefit if the child is a “special needs” child at the time of adoptive placement and the adoption assistance agreement is signed prior to consummation of the adoption.
The child must be younger than 18 years old and meet one of the following criteria when the adoptive placement agreement is signed:
- The child is at least six years old;
- the child is at least two years old and a member of a racial or ethnic group that exits foster care at a slower pace than other racial or ethnic groups;
- the child is being adopted with a sibling or to join a sibling; or
- The child has a verifiable physical, mental, or emotional disabling condition, as established by an appropriately qualified professional through a diagnosis that addresses: (a) what the condition is; and (b) that the condition is disabling.
The state must determine that the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of his parents.
A reasonable effort must be made to find an adoptive placement without providing adoption assistance, unless doing so is against the child’s best interests.
DFPS is responsible for determining eligibility and negotiating the adoption assistance agreements for children who are placed for adoption under varying circumstances. Foremost among these responsibilities are determinations for children who are in the managing conservatorship of DFPS, regardless of the location of the placement. These responsibilities also extend to children who are in the legal care of and placed for adoption by a licensed, non-profit child-placing agency when the child is placed with a family that resides in Texas. The child-placing agency need not be licensed in Texas but at least must be licensed/certified by another state to provide adoption placement services.
DFPS also determines eligibility and negotiates agreements for children who previously received Title IV-E adoption assistance or state adoption assistance and whose adoption terminated because of the death of the adoptive parents or termination of their parental rights and at the same time are not in the care of another state’s public child welfare agency. DFPS will also assume responsibility for children who have subsequent adoptive parents who resided in Texas at the time of the adoptive placement. If the child received prior state adoption assistance, DFPS will assume responsibility regardless of the adoptive parents’ state of residence.
The payment ceilings are established by the DFPS Board and are based upon two separate amounts. For children whose service level is Basic at the time of adoptive placement the ceiling is $400 per month. For children whose service level is Moderate or higher, the payment ceiling is $545 per month. The payment ceilings cannot be exceeded and are not automatically provided to any child.
Requests for adoption assistance are made through the regional adoption assistance eligibility units. Ask your worker for the Request for Adoption Assistance forms.
For more information go to: Texas Administrative Code – Adoption Assistance Program External Link
Texas Department of Family & Protective Services
2525 Ridgepoint Drive
Austin, Texas 78754
Phone (713) 767-2651
Fax (512) 339-5927
Non-Profit Foster Closet's
Foster Closets are free resources for caregivers of children in foster care. To support the foster care community, churches and organizations throughout the region provide basic supplies and clothing for children when they are placed in care. Items often include car seats, diapers, clothes and shoes, hygiene items and clothing in various sizes. As an organization, REACH operates a volunteer based foster closet located in Terrell, Texas.
We're Here to Help!
Our role as a child placing agency is to support the needs of the families and children in care. If you are needing support or have questions, please REACH out!