Foster Care

Sometimes, difficult circumstances prevent a family from being able to provide for the needs of their children. When this happens, we step in. We recruit, train, license, and support nurturing foster parents so that these children have a safe, loving place to grow until a permanent plan can be determined.

Become a Foster Parent

Every year, more than 5,000 children enter foster care in North Carolina, and not nearly enough licensed homes are available to them. Imagine the difference opening your doors can make.

The CHS Foster Care Process

  • 1. Attend an Info Session

    Learn about fostering through CHS.

  • 2. Apply to Be a Foster Parent

    Fill out an online application and pay for a background check.

  • 3. Meet with CHS Specialists

    A specialist with call you to set up an interview and prepare you for training.

  • 4. Complete Training

    Complete the training courses required to obtain a license.

  • 5. Paperwork

    Finish classes and complete the required paperwork.

  • 6. Approval

    Receive approval as a licensed foster home and discuss potential placements with your CHS Specialist.

  • 7. Welcome to the Family!

    Your CHS Specialist will work with you to place a child in your home.

Download Our Brochure Attend An Info Meeting Apply Now

Becoming a Foster Parent

Raising any child takes a village and fostering is no different. We’re here to guide you throughout your journey as a foster parent, whether that’s training for your license or navigating the struggles of parenting. And while, yes, fostering a child is not always easy, the rewards are abundant. Imagine watching your child meet first-time milestones, helping them heal from trauma, and offering the support they need to meet their full potential. Discover what it takes to become a foster parent.

Learn More

Foster Care FAQs

See the full list of FAQs or contact us with any additional questions. We are here for you.
Contact Us.

  • Submit an inquiry to receive a call from a family recruitment specialist. Or, attend an info session to learn more about fostering with CHS. When you’re ready to commit, you will need to fill out an application, pass a background check, and have more in-depth conversations with a CHS specialist before beginning training to become a licensed foster parent. The full process of becoming a foster parent with CHS is illustrated here. [link to /foster-care with anchor tag to process graphic]

  • There is no fee to apply to become a foster parent with CHS. Once in the licensing process, you may incur minimal fees associated with background checks, external training, or other state requirements. In North Carolina, foster parents may be eligible for state subsidies to help offset other costs of bringing a child or children into your home. If you later decide to adopt through foster care, you may incur additional fees, however, many of these are reimbursable.

  • North Carolina requires the following to be a licensed foster parent. Additionally, homes with potential water hazards may have to meet certain criteria before becoming licensed.

    • Be 21 years of age or older
    • Legal resident of the U.S. and North Carolina for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application
    • Be willing to submit for a background check that shows no felony convictions involving child abuse, spouse abuse, crimes involving violence, DWI (within the last 5 years), and No substantiated Child Protective Service Investigations
    • Willing to submit to a thorough assessment of your family and home, including medical information, marriage and divorce certificates, vocational and educational backgrounds, fire and water safety inspections
    • Able to complete all required licensure training requirements
    • No more than 5 children at home under the age of 18
    • Sufficient income to meet the needs of your current family
    • Must have the space to provide children with their own bed, and adequate drawer and closet space for their personal belongings
    • Access to reliable transportation

  • CHS offers the following types of foster care for children. All take place in family home-based settings, because research shows that stable, nurturing homes are the best environment for meeting a child’s needs.

    Family Foster Care (also known as Traditional Foster Care) – temporary or permanent care provided to children by licensed foster parents. This is the most common type of foster care.

    Relative Foster Care (also known as Kinship Care) – temporary or permanent care provided to children by relatives or close family friends (“fictive kin”).

    Respite Care – short-term care—usually for a week or less—that offers foster families a temporary break in caring for a child.

    Therapeutic Care – specialized care provided to children with higher behavioral and mental health needs.

The CHS Difference


Offices in nine cities serving all 100 counties in NC


From foster families on CHS’s level of support


Offer TIPS-MAPP training every month at convenient times


Foster families trained in a trauma-informed model of care


Staff availability for emergency support


Monthly support groups, ongoing training, and family events

Become a Foster Parent

Get Involved

Our community is vital to our success. Find out how your time, talent and resources can help more children find and experience loving families.

Donate Now

It takes a village to raise a child. And it takes a community to affect lasting change. Invest in the lives of children and make a difference for families everywhere.