Are you interested in becoming a Foster Parent? Stokes County has a need for loving, caring and nurturing homes. Contact us today at (336) 593-2861.
What is Foster Care?
Foster care is a temporary living arrangement for abused, neglected, and dependent children who need a safe place to live when their parents or another relative cannot take care of them. Often their families face issues such as illness, alcohol or drug addiction, or homelessness.
When the county Department of Social Services (DSS) believes a child is not safe, and a judge agrees, DSS takes custody of that child and finds a foster home for him or her. Length of stay in foster care varies from a few days to much longer.
Foster families are recruited, trained, and licensed to care for abused and neglected children temporarily, while their parents work with social work professionals to resolve their family issues. Relatives may be licensed as foster parents.
The foster family, DSS and the birth family work together to return children to their own homes as quickly as possible. In cases where the child becomes free for adoption, foster parents may be considered as adoptive parents.
Who are the Children?
Thousands of children in North Carolina enter the foster care system each year, and range in age from infants to 18 years old. All foster children have unique backgrounds, experiences, personalities, strengths and needs.
Some children in foster care require extensive care for physical or emotional handicaps and disabilities.
Some also require help with undisciplined and delinquent behaviors. Most foster children do not have a strong sense of belonging or self-worth. Many have been victims of physical or sexual abuse. All children who are in foster care require special care, support and nurturing.
Who Pays For The Child’s Care?
Foster parents receive financial compensation from the placement agency for a child’s room, board, and other living expenses. Sometimes there are supplemental payments for the care of children with special needs.
Who can be a Foster Parent?
Foster parents must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have a stable home and income
- Be willing to be finger printed and have a criminal records check
- Maintain a drug free environment
- Complete all required training and be licensed by the state of North Carolina
Do Foster Parents have to be Licensed?
Yes, North Carolina State Law requires that all foster parents be licensed to care for children in their care. These licenses are issued by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. County Departments of Social Services and several private child caring agencies are authorized to work with potential foster parents to assist them with the licensing process and to provide supervision and support for the foster parents.
Potential foster parents receive 36 hours of training. The training covers topics such as child abuse and neglect, working with birth parents, and helping foster children deal with the issues they face. It also helps the potential foster parents think about how parenting another child may affect their family.
How Do I Become a Foster Parent?
To find out more on how to become a licensed foster parent you can contact Stokes County Department of Social Services. We can offer information that will help you decide if foster parenting is right for you.
You do not have to be perfect to be a Successful Foster Parent
What does it take to be a Foster Parent?
You will need to be able to:
Provide a child with a safe place
Provide a place for a child to grow physically, spiritually and mentally
Promote being in school and succeeding in school
Support child’s cultural needs
Handle uncertain situations
Grow as a parent in knowledge and skills
Handle the demands of fostering on your personal and family well-being
Support continuing relationships between the child and their birth families
Help a child move back home or to an adoptive family
Work as a team member for the benefit of the child