Round Rock agency finds children foster homes for healing
Since opening in 2007, Angelheart has found adoptive homes for more than 100 children and places approximately 90 children per year in prescreened foster homes.
The Round Rock organization provides foster and adoption care for children ages 1 week through 18 years old and contracts with the state to find homes for the children.
“If we can, we put them in one of our foster homes,” Angelheart Foster Home Developer Meghann Oldis said. “I think that it’s important to find families that are going to help kids heal and feel secure and loved in their home setting.”
Angelheart was first started in 2002 by Executive Director Shelia Falco and operated a full-time shelter for children. Falco founded Angelheart after the shelter at which she was working shut down. After buying out the shelter’s facility, Angelheart was born.
“We started Angelheart to have the opportunity to effectively train caregivers to help children with significant behavior issues have a stable setting to live until more long-term placement decisions could be made,” Falco said.
The organization shut down its full-time shelter in 2011 to focus on placing children in foster and adoptive homes. The smaller operation has allowed Angelheart to spend more time getting to know potential families.
Before any children are placed, prospective parents go through a screening with Angelheart staff. Oldis looks for families who genuinely want to help children in need.
“Being in this realm, you see that these kids just need good homes,” she said. “We really try to screen our families and see that they have kids’ best interests at heart and that kids can really heal in their home.”
When the state has children to be placed, the agency selects families based on each child’s behaviors and the family’s compatibility.
After the child is placed, Angelheart continues to play a part in each child’s life, with case worker visits at least twice a month, respite and babysitting care for foster families and activities for children. Foster families also communicate daily via email and phone to keep the agency updated.
Anyone interested in helping the agency can make tax-deductible donations or volunteer, Oldis said. The agency uses volunteers for projects such as making baked goods for parties and folding donated clothes.
Angelheart’s main mission, through placing children in homes, is to help children heal from past neglect or abuse. Oldis said the care of a foster family can have a lifelong impact on a child.
“Some kids have never even had a bed of their own or anything like that when they come into [foster]homes, so we really try to place kids in homes that we think are going to be successful,” she said.
For more information about Angelheart, call 512-310-9857.
April 25 Toast to Awareness
- 7–9 p.m.
- $50 per ticket, 512-310-9857
- Kindred Oaks events center, 2100 CR 176, Georgetown
- Enjoy wine tastings, dinner and jazz.
Becoming a foster parent
- Who: Potential foster parents must be at least 25 years old, have an income, pass criminal background checks and be able to complete training. Relatives caring for related children can also become licensed foster parents with Angelheart.
- What: Foster parents must be committed to the well-being and individual growth of any child or children placed in their home. Families willing to serve older teens and sibling groups are especially needed.
- When: Once the agency is contacted by the state to place children, the agency will look at possible homes and make placements based on family and child compatibility.
- Where: Most of Angelheart’s foster families live in Round Rock,Pflugerville, Cedar Park and the Austin area. Families looking to work with Angelheart must live within a certain region. For more information, contact the agency.
- Why: Angelheart believes foster families can make big differences in children’s lives, and providing a safe home can positively affect the child for a lifetime. Foster homes can be the beginning steps to helping children heal from abuse and neglect they may have endured.
- How: Families interested in fostering or adopting children are screened by Angelheart and must complete a three-day training held during three consecutive Saturdays. The agency is then responsible for determining family and child compatibility.
The shelter welcomes donations, which are all tax-deductible.
Clothes (gently used, all sizes)
- Movie tickets
- Old Navy
- Paper/spiral notebooks