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Contact Us

TARE Headquarters

Local contacts for questions about approval process to foster and/or adopt

Texas regions

If you are not approved to foster/adopt and have specific questions, contact your regional representative (see chart right).

Please note: Using email may produce a quicker response (click on contact name).

Region Contact Phone
1 Kelsey Neinast, Saint Francis Ministries (806) 381-3573
1 Aimee Paquette, Saint Francis Ministries (806) 381-3573
2 Laurie Flenniken, 2INgage (325) 738-0166
2 Brandi Sharer, 2INgage (325) 399-1374
2 Mika Howard, 2INgage (325) 399-1371
3W Aresha Dickens (Our Community Our Kids, OCOK) (817) 502-1333
3E Kimberly Fracese (EMPOWER) (945) 468-6476
3E Esther Rocha (EMPOWER) (469) 705-5729
3E Ruth Iheanatu (EMPOWER) (469) 662-8771
3E Raquel Vasquez (EMPOWER) (469) 705-6437
3E Shavondra Triplett (EMPOWER) (469) 657-9116
4 Haley Weaver (4Kids4Families) (903) 576-5685
4 Valescha Stephens (4Kids4Families) (903) 284-0596
5 Melissa LaFleur (Texas Family Care Network) (409) 728-7699
5 Trina Stephenson (Texas Family Care Network) (409) 540-9019
6 Brenda Jones (Harris County) (832) 390-9423
6 Iris Garcia (Harris County) (832) 314-8934
6 Erocketunya Jack (Harris County) (713) 301-2476
6 Arturo Salinas (Harris County) (713) 562-0622
6 Sandra Gordon (Outlying Counties) (832) 315-2412
7 Vicki Browder (512) 948-1309
8A Kelly Gadea (210) 487-9586
8A Cloe Rios (512) 578-6489
8A Emallee Wooten (726) 895-0945
8A Daniel Villanueva (830) 480-4747
8A Stephanie Constante (210) 268-2873
8A Haidee Salazar (210) 247-7529
8A Cambrielle Gorham (210) 709-9228
8B Brandy Flores (Belong)(830) 252-2361
8B Amber Wagner (Belong) (830) 252-2426
8B Daniela Esparza (Belong) (830) 714-1976
9 Linda Erickson(325) 657-8980
10 Sylvia Pitcher (915) 521-3719
11 Rocio Chavez (956) 764-6061
11 Alexandra Hernandez (956) 412-4793

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When You Hear About Children in the News

It is a sad fact that children are too often in the news because they have become victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other terrible crimes. Naturally, these situations create an outpouring of concern from the general public. People of good conscience want to know what will happen to these children after Child Protective Services obtains legal custody. Most of all they want to know what they can do to help.

Many caring adults are motivated to become the foster or adoptive parents of the children they see featured in the news. However, the process for these children is to immediately place them with existing, certified foster parents while their cases are investigated.

Next Steps by Child Protective Services

If these children cannot be returned to their parents the next alternative is to reunite them with other relatives who may be located or may come forward. Placing children with people they know is best because it may help ease the trauma and sense of loss they have experienced.

Sometimes, however, these options are not viable and the court may choose to terminate the birth family’s legal rights. In these cases the children then become available for adoption.

In Texas, more than 60 percent of foster parents adopt the children in their care once the children become legally available for adoption. Therefore, there is a chance that foster parents will adopt some of the children you see in the news.

If the foster family does not wish to adopt them, Child Protective Services will search for other adoptive families and the children may be listed in the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE). This photo listing makes it possible for any approved adoptive family in the U.S. to submit a form expressing their interest in the children.

How You Can Help

Please review the steps to become a foster or adoptive family in our Get Started section. There, you will find an overview of the foster/adopt program, the steps involved, and the requirements to become a foster or adoptive family.

You may also want to volunteer with our agency. Our web site includes a list of volunteer opportunities, along with a listing of the coordinators in your region.

You may be interested in making a donation of clothing, school supplies, toys, or other items to help the children you see in the news; or perhaps this child’s needs are being taken care of and you would like to help one of the many other children who are waiting. If so, please contact the community engagement coordinator in your region - they will connect you with an organization near you that provides resources to our children.

Thank you for your concern and interest in helping “children in the news.” It is individuals and families like you who make a difference in the lives of children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in very difficult situations and in need of loving and caring families to call their own.

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Become a foster or adoptive family

Texas Residents. Visit the Get Started section to learn more, or leave a message on the statewide foster/adopt toll-free inquiry line, (800) 233-3405.

Non-Texas Residents. Texas works with interested families from other states. However, we cannot approve or develop home studies on families outside Texas. We encourage you to get approved to foster or adopt within your state first. Find your State Adoption Website.

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Inquire about a child you saw in our photo listings

Families with current home studies. After creating a log in account and completing your family profile, click on "View Waiting Children" to search children waiting for their forever family. From the child's profile you will be able to submit your inquiry.

Families without current home studies. See Become a foster or adoptive family (above).

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Ask questions about adoption or foster care

- please send your questions via e-mail -

Questions about... Contact Title
TARE Children

Toya Rocha

TARE Program Specialist
TARE Children

Casey Jordan

TARE Program Specialist
Foster Care Policy Brandi Chambers Texas Foster Care Specialist
Foster Care Billing
Regina Buchannon
Texas Foster Care Billing Specialist
Adoption Policy Randyl Kerr Adoption Program Specialist
Adoption Subsidy LaTasha Henry Texas Subsidy Specialist
Child Care Licensing Myrna Amaya Child Care Licensing Specialist
Kinship Care Anna McArtor Kinship Care Specialist
PAL Services Sharee Hamlin Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Specialist
TARE website Toya Rocha TARE Program Specialist
TARE website Casey Jordan TARE Program Specialist

Note: Children come into the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) due to abuse or neglect. Therefore, families who foster or adopt children through the agency should have an understanding or be willing to learn the dynamics of neglect or physical or sexual abuse.

Notice: The assistance and services of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) are available to anyone without regard to age, race, marital status, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, or political belief. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, you may complain to the Equal Opportunity and Client Compliance Section.

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