Creating Families

May 1, 2006 by  
Filed under Edit

Local charity helps children find a new family

Every day, there are more than 800 children available for adoption in the Houston area alone. Some were given up at birth, while others were taken out of abusive households and placed in foster care. The Homes of St. Mark offers hope to these children. This charitable children’s service agency delivers alternative services to aid in positive family formation, preservation and change.

Bright beginnings, bright future
The Homes of St. Mark was founded in 1955 by a group of benevolent women of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church with the intention of providing charitable children’s services. In 1957, the agency was chartered and became a separate nonprofit organization, making it no longer affiliated with any church or religion. Since then, the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services licensed the Homes of St. Mark to provide foster care services to children in the Houston area. The group offers preparation to potential foster parents and provides them with on-going educational services. The staff of the Homes of St. Mark works as a liaison between foster families and the managing conservators of the children.

About the children
Many children enter foster care under the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, due to neglect, abuse or abandonment. Other times, parents recognize they are unable to care for their children. Parents sometimes temporarily place their children in foster care voluntarily. Children in foster care represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds, religions and ages. Many of the children are members of sibling groups, more than 2 years old, and have been abused physically, emotionally or sexually. They are in desperate need of parents who are able to provide them with permanent, loving and stable homes.

Forming families
Building personal relationships with adoptive families, a full range of adoptive services are available to ensure the children find a nurturing and secure home. To guarantee a safe, loving and stable home, all potential families are screened with criminal background checks, child abuse checks, references and for health and financial stability. An array of services are available to adoptive families, including pre-adoption counseling, monthly support-group meetings, birthparent facilitation, open adoption education, and post-adoption counseling and support.

Fostering love
Do you think you may have room in your heart and home to become a foster family? Being a foster parent is a rewarding and eye-opening experience. In order to prepare potential foster families, the Homes of St. Mark requires you to attend a foster care orientation meeting. This meeting provides potential foster families with a wealth of information about caring for a foster child. In addition to an application, pre-service preparation classes are required. The orientation and preparation classes serve to enable foster families to get the most out of being a foster parent.

Considering adopting a child? Adoption is a wonderful way to open not only your home, but also your heart to children in need.

3000 Richmond, Ste. 570
(713) 522-2800
www.homesofstmark.org

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