HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — One local agency is calling the community to provide temporary homes to children in need.
Edna Martinez-Hernandez, an administrator at Hands of Healing, helps children leave some of the worst situations despite the pandemic. Hands of Healing of created in the Rio Grande Valley late 2019.
“We’re in the service of keeping children safe as well as recording our fostering parents,” said Hernandez.
She said the pandemic has impacted the foster care system, forcing them to get creative.
“It’s pushed everybody to get a little more creative and comfortable with doing things virtually,” she said.
Children entering the foster system can be placed all over the state. Edna is working to keep children in the same community.
“It is that detrimental kind of thing. Where we’re looking at okay it just wasn’t taking them away from the home that posed a risk for them and the caregivers that abused or neglected them but we’re taking all their ties away from them. So that’s the need we’re trying to address,” she said. “The more families we’re able to verify as foster parents then the more children we’re able to keep within our community and serve within our community. “
There’s a difference between adoption and fostering. Adoption grants full legal custody and rights of the child to the adoptive parents. With fostering, children are placed in temporary homes until they are adopted or placed back with their family.
Last year, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported 1,949 children placed in foster care just in our four counties.
Hands of Healing shared a message on social media, calling for people to consider being foster parents. Edna urges that it’s a rewarding experience.
“Be that one person that’s stable for them and feel secure that they’re going to show everything, they’re going to show their anger and their frustration and knowing that they’re still going to be safe,” she said.
There are requirements, like passing a background. For more information on how to become a foster parent click here.