Foster In Texas (FIT), the award-winning foster care program of Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS), announced the opening of their new office in Houston, Texas. The office was previously located in Conroe/The Woodlands, Texas. The relocation will allow FIT to serve more children by being closer to the greatest area of need for foster care services in Harris County. It also puts FIT social workers closer to the families they serve and train.
A significant number of children in Houston are in urgent need of foster care placement, particularly infants, sibling groups, and teenagers. This statewide trend is a result of the state’s focus on placing children removed from their biological homes with relatives nearby, a practice known as kinship care. Infants, siblings, and teenagers can be more difficult to manage and more expensive for kinship families to care for than elementary, school-age children.
Conversely, many kinship caregivers may qualify to receive state funding if they go through a verification process like a typical foster family applicant. The Houston FIT office has streamlined the verification process for kinship families.
“Children are placed into our care due to severe abuse and neglect, therefore it is imperative that we recruit high quality families who provide each child an opportunity to heal,” said Kurt Senske, chief executive officer of LSS. “Every parent understands that caring properly for a child comes with costs, so it is equally important that kinship caregivers are aware state aid is available and they apply. We urge families who hear the call to foster a child or are currently caring for children of relatives to contact us.”
LSS currently has 15 Foster In Texas offices throughout the state and cares for hundreds of foster children daily. Potential Houston area foster parents and kinship caregivers should call Crystal Laslie, area director, at (281) 298-8639 for more information. The office is located at 5600 Northwest Central, Suite 107, Houston, TX 77092.
Lutheran Social Services is a nonprofit organization serving more than 26,000 children, elderly, and poor in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma annually. LSS is the largest provider of children’s residential care in Texas. LSS children’s programs include Foster In Texas (FIT), Lutheran Adoption Services of Texas (LAST), three children’s residential facilities in Texas, plus charter school services, senior retirement communities, disaster response, and emergency assistance.