Training of foster parents is required by the Minimum Standards for Child Placing Agencies promulgated by the Child Care Licensing division of Texas Health & Human Services. These standards require that all foster parents receive an orientation and pre-service training.


CPS requires potential foster and adoptive parents to attend the National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents  (NTDC) as part of the family’s required pre-service training.

Texas NTDC training is a 19-hour pre-service training for prospective foster and adoptive parents. The curriculum includes material to encompass the kinship family population seeking verification. NTDC includes a characteristic-based training program that is trained by an agency staff member and can include a foster or adoptive parent co-trainer. NTDC provides prospective foster and adoptive families with base knowledge of information on caring for children in the child protection system. NTDC pre-service training benefits families that DFPS verifies and the children they serve. It uses current methodologies, and data and focuses on trauma-informed care and biological family connectedness.

Topics include:

  • Child attachment
  • Child development
  • Separation, loss, and grief
  • Trauma-related behaviors
  • Trauma-informed parenting
  • Effective communication
  • Effects of abuse and neglect
  • Working as part of the child protection team
  • Effects of fostering and adopting on the family
  • Reunification - the primary permanency planning goal
  • Foster care - a means to support families
  • Preparing for and managing intrusive questions
  • Maintaining children’s connections with their siblings, extended family, and community
  • Cultural humility (optional)
  • Parenting in racial and culturally diverse families
  • Mental health considerations (optional)
  • Impact of substance use (optional)
  • Creating a stable, nurturing, safe home environment
  • Accessing services and support

Minimum standards for child placing agencies require that verified foster parents receive annual training. A foster parent caring for a child receiving only child-care services must complete 10 hours of annual training. If each foster parent is required to complete 10 hours, a foster home must collectively complete 20 hours. A foster parent caring for a child receiving treatment services is required to complete 25 hours, and a foster home must collectively complete 50 hours.

Foster/Adopt Associations

DFPS provides Title IV-B funds to the Texas Foster Family Association (TFFA), which is the state level foster parent association. TFFA uses the IV-B funds to help educate state-approved foster parents verified in both the public and private sector. TFFA conducts an annual training conference and recruitment events. TFFA also co-sponsor regional training opportunities for verified foster, adoptive, kinship, fictive kin caregivers, agency staff and General Residential Operation/Residential Treatment Center caregivers across the state. DFPS also provides Title IV-B funding to the Texas Council on Adoptable Children (COAC). COAC provides training opportunities for adoptive parents.

In addition to the state level foster parent association and adoption association, DFPS funds local associations with Title IV-B funds. Training is offered by a number of other options through local school districts, universities, and local foster parent organizations to provide current and prospective foster parents with ongoing training related to Title IV-E eligible topics. These trainings are typically provided through a collaboration between individual regions and external organizations. Training can be given in regional conference venues or through shorter single topic training sessions throughout the year. Conferences and training classes are conducted both virtually and in person. All training is designed to help foster and adoptive parents better meet the needs of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and developmental trauma.

Private Agencies

All Private Child Placing Agencies (CPAs) provide their own pre-service training curriculum to prospective foster and adoptive parents.