Foster Care and Adoption Services are a range of services designed to find homes for children and to provide support to the families who care for them. There are many children in North Carolina who are placed in the custody of a department of social services because they have been abused or neglected by their parents, or who have parents who are unable or unwilling to provide a home for them. These children depend on foster parents to care for them until they can return to their biological parents or be placed into a permanent adoptive home. These children come from all ethnic backgrounds. Many of them are ten years of age or older. Some have brothers or sisters who need to be placed with them. All of them need a loving and accepting family.
Children needing a foster or adoptive home include:
- Children with special needs, such as physical, behavioral, mental, and emotional disabilities;
- Sibling groups and teenagers;
- African-American children and other minorities.
Foster and adoptive parents may be married or single, own or rent their home, live in an apartment or mobile home. The home must meet fire safety and sanitation requirements. Families must complete a special preparation class consisting of 30 hours of training. This training is important because it will provide information and skills to help prepare families to provide care for children who have experienced losses.
Foster or adoptive parents must have a physical exam and TB test, have a criminal records check, be fingerprinted, and participate in a licensing or assessment process completed by the Department. Since many children cleared for adoption are adopted by their foster parents, we strongly encourage families interested in adoption to become licensed as foster parents.
Foster children are eligible for Medicaid and foster parents receive a monthly payment to help with the cost of caring for a foster child. The monthly foster care payment is between $475.00 and $634.00 per month depending on the age of the child.
Special needs children who are placed into an adoptive home by a county department of social services may qualify for monthly maintenance payments, medical benefits, adoption assistance, and other services. Children who are considered special needs include children with physical, mental, developmental, and emotional disabilities as well as sibling groups, older children, and children of color.
If you would like more information about Foster Parenting or Adoption Services, contact us at (704) 982-6100. You may also view the North Carolina Division of Social Services, Office of Adoption Services web site at www2.ncdhhs.gov/dss/adopt/index.htm