Preparation Classes

All families in Texas who wish to adopt a child or children from foster care must complete specific training curriculum as part of the licensing process. That means that in order to open your heart and home to a child in need of a family, you must come learn more about parenting an adopted child who may need some extra attention and reassurance from you.

Once a family has attended an informal Information Meeting and completes an application, they begin pre-service training. During pre-service training, families learn about the types of trauma foster children endured, their resulting behaviors, the emotional scars, and the interventions that are successful in addressing trauma and helping them heal.


Topics addressed during pre-service training include:

  • Types of maltreatment children in foster care may have experienced.
  • The social, emotional and behavioral difficulties children may display due to trauma as a result of abuse and/or neglect.
  • Interventions that are successful in addressing trauma and helping heal abused and/or neglected children.

Training may be offered every month. Each family’s individual training schedule is determined in partnership with your Arms Wide Coordinator upon completion of initial application.

Training includes 24 classroom hours, plus CPR/First Aid. Other topics include: Loss and Grief, Cultural Diversity, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Shaken Baby, Understanding Discipline, Behavior Management, Sexual Abuse Awareness, Trust-Based Relational Intervention Series, Visitation, and Normalcy.


To see an overview of an upcoming Pre-Service Training, please visit our Event Calendar.


In addition, six (6) hours of the following online training is also required:

Trauma-Informed Care – 2 hours

Psychotropic Medication – 2 hours

Medical Consent Training – 1 hour

Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect – 1 hour


Take-home trainings include: Water Safety, Disaster Plan and Communicable Diseases, Child Transportation, Visitation Matters, and Child Safety.


Once again, we know that all of this can sound complicated and overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. Arms Wide is here to support greater Houston and South Texas families in any way we can and help simplify this complex process in order to help achieve our shared mission: more children in permanent homes and more families fulfilled.