Foster Care


Foster parents, or resource families, are special people who provide a temporary, supportive, safe environment that is nurturing and stable.

Scared and a little shy, she shows up with all her belongings in a plastic bag. Sometimes he sleeps in front of his bedroom door. It’s not because the warm bed provided isn’t comfortable. He just needs to make sure no one from his past sneaks up on him.

For awhile, each day is filled with confusion and uncertainty and nights are interrupted with tears and nightmares.

“Will I be safe here?” she wonders. “Will I go home today?” he asks. “Do I even have a home anymore?”

These are the realities of the many children thrust into foster care every day. They’ve been abandoned, abused or neglected. Whether it’s domestic violence, drugs or alcohol addiction, mental illness, prison or poverty that’s made their birth parents unable to to care for them, the lives of these children are turned upside down.

It’s not fair. It’s not easy, but there is a way to help.

Foster parents, or resource families, are precious gifts in the lives of the many children in foster care in North Carolina. They are the special people who provide temporary, supportive and safe environments to children in need. It is through love, patience and kindness that foster parents slowly change the lives of the youngsters in their care. It is often in foster care that some children experience for the first time what it’s like to have a nurturing and stable home.

CHS works diligently to provide homes for every child needing a temporary safe haven. We recruit, train, license and support foster families so they can provide the best possible care for children in need.

Through extensive support and services, CHS is dedicated to helping foster parents give children the love and support they need in order to cope with feelings of grief and loss until a permanent plan is determined. Foster families receive a stipend – determined by the state – each month of non-taxable funds to assist with the cost of clothing, feeding and housing the child. Families may also receive Medicaid for the children’s medical care, and financial assistance to provide special enrichment experiences for children in their care.

Becoming a Foster and Adoptive Parent

Many families with the emotional capacity, strong parenting skills and room in their home can foster as a first step toward adoption.

To be a foster or adoptive parent you:

  • may be married or single
  • must be at least 21 years old
  • may or may not have birth or other children
  • need to have sufficient income for the needs of your own current family
  • must provide children with their own bed, and adequate drawer and closet space for their personal belongings
  • must live in the state of North Carolina
  • are required to complete annual training to maintain your foster care license

You do not have to own your home or be wealthy in order to foster or adopt. You just need to be willing to open your heart and home to a child in need.

Steps to Foster:

  • Contact CHS and request foster care and adoption information and application.
  • Complete your application and return it to CHS.
  • You will meet with a Specialist to discuss your interest in foster care, adoption, or both, and the services provided by CHS.
  • Complete a training class known as TIPS-MAPP in your area.
  • Complete a mutual home assessment and foster care license process.
  • Receive approval as a licensed foster home.

Additional Steps to Adopt:

  • Explore the type of children for whom you could provide the best permanent home.
  • Complete a home study
  • Receive approval to be an adoptive family.
  • Discuss potential placements with your Specialist.
  • Pre-placement visits with the child and people in the child’s life.
  • Child is welcomed into your home
  • Decree of Adoption is issued.

Ready to take the next step?

  1. Attend an optional information meeting or schedule a phone call to speak with a specialist.
  2. Apply now.
  3. Complete the required North Carolina Foster Parent Orientation. If there are two applicants, both applicants must complete the orientation and attach a copy of their certificates with their application or hand deliver at the time of the initial interview.