When children can't live safely at home and no appropriate non-custodial parent, relative, for close family friend is willing and able to care for them, the court can give temporary legal possession to Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS temporarily places these children in foster care. Foster care settings include:
- Foster family homes.
- Foster family group homes.
- Residential group care facilities.
- Facilities overseen by another state agency.
Foster care is meant to be temporary until a permanent living arrangement is found. However, it can become permanent - usually when a foster parent adopts or accepts permanent managing conservatorship of a child. CPS strives to ensure quality services for children in foster care. However, children in foster care may have to change placements several times while in foster care due to a variety of factors such as licensing standards violations, court rulings, or changes in the foster home or facility. CPS has a variety of initiatives designed to increase placement options to better match the needs of each individual child.
Some thoughts to ponder regarding children who are placed in foster care is that approximately 30% of those children will never see their biological parents again and a staggering 63% will never go back to the home of their original family.