Requirements for Foster and Adoptive Families in New Hanover County
provide a temporary home for children who are placed in custody of Department of Social Services.
Children enter DSS custody for a variety of reasons, including abuse, neglect or the lack of an appropriate adult to provide care.
During the child's placement in foster care, the Department will actively work with parents in an effort to reunify children with the parents or extended family members.
provide a permanent, loving home to children who are unable to return to their biological parents or other family members.
Often, foster parents who have cared for a child during the "reunification period" commit to adopting the child if those reunification efforts are not successful.
Basic requirements for candidates:
Complete a 30 hour pre-service training course;
Obtain multiple background clearances (including sex offender registry, criminal history and finger print checks);
Pass a fire and an environmental inspection of the home
Obtain medical clearance from their doctor
Be able to meet their own financial obligations without dependency on the board payment;
Participate in an in-depth home study process;
Complete the formal application for licensure of a foster home.
Special Skills and Characteristics: Candidates for foster and adoptive parenting must be able to provide a safe environment for a child and provide for his or her basic physical and emotional needs, treating the child as a member of the family. Foster and adoptive parents must commit to the following responsibilities as they relate to a child in foster care:
Ensure the child regularly attends school while monitoring the child's progress, special needs and accomplishments
Provide appropriate and adequate clothing
Attend to the child's medical and dental needs
Provide transportation to appointments
Encourage recreational and enrichment activities which promote healthy development
Provide consistent and realistic discipline in compliance with agency established policy
Be capable of supporting a child through the grieving and adjustment process that accompanies removal from their own home and placement in foster care - including helping the child maintain a realistic relationship with their family and the maintenance of a record of the time a child spends in the home including photographs, report cards, awards, etc.
Licensed foster and adoptive parents are invited to participate in a monthly support group meeting.
The Department provides in-service training opportunities each year on topics of interest identified by foster and adoptive parents.
The Department hosts three events throughout the year in an effort to show appreciation for our families.
Families receive a monthly newsletter with useful information regarding changes in policy, upcoming events and informational tips.
Hours: This is a full time commitment! We do offer "respite" services for families who need a few days break along the way.
Financial Compensation: This is a volunteer position, however, New Hanover County DSS does provide a monthly non-taxable stipend to foster families which helps off set the cost of caring for a child in foster care, including expenses associated with transportation, food, clothing, school supplies and other incidental items.