How to Become a Foster Parent in NC

Although not without its challenges, fostering a child can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to becoming a foster parent—from foster care requirements to welcoming a child into your home.

Requirements to Become a Foster Parent

The most important requirement? Creating space in your heart for a child. You can be married or single, younger or older, homeowner or renter…what matters is the love you give. That said, there are a few legal requirements you must meet to become a licensed foster parent.

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Legal resident of the U.S. and North Carolina for a minimum of six months at time of application
  • Be willing to submit to a background check that shows no felony convictions involving child abuse, spouse abuse, crimes involving violence, or a DWI (within last five years), as well as no substantiated Child Protective Service Investigations
  • Be willing to submit to a thorough assessment of your family and home that examines medical information, marriage and divorce certificates, vocational and educational backgrounds, and fire safety
  • Complete all required licensure training requirements
  • If married, must be married for a minimum of six months at time of application
  • Have no more than five children at home under the age of 18
  • Have sufficient income to meet the needs of your current family
  • Have the space to provide children with their own bed, as well as adequate drawer and closet space for their personal belongings
  • Have access to reliable transportation

Foster Care Training

The specific training requirements to receive your foster care license depend on the type of foster care you would like to provide. CHS offers a wide array of flexible training options to meet most licensing requirements, including those for traditional foster care, relative or kinship care, and therapeutic care. We also offer several ongoing post-licensure training courses so families can continue their education as well as maintain their foster care license. Our training schedules cater to the needs of families; for example, we offer TIPS-MAPP, the most common state-mandated training, every month across the state at times—nights and weekends—most convenient to families.

Support Services

We know this process isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ll be with you every step of the way. You will be assigned a dedicated specialist for each stage in your journey—from your very first inquiry to parenting—to help you feel prepared for whatever comes next. You are in good hands with CHS’s highly trained staff, credentialed programs, and wide array of support services.

Learn more about our foster family support services

I love having an advocate to help support me when we need assistance … and to feel heard and valued. It was never about getting a kid for our family; it was about being a family for a child.

-CHS Foster Family

Get Started


Connect with a Specialist

Submit an inquiry below or call 1-888-883-7414 to ask any initial questions you may have.


Attend an Info Session

Learn more about fostering with CHS in an online meeting. Find a time that works for you and register here.


Apply to Be a Foster Parent

Access our online portal here. Create an account, fill out the application, and pay for a background check.

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