For potential foster families, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The primary difference between the two is that with a Public Agency, it would be rare to have a child placed with you from outside the county where you reside, whereas, in a Private Agency a child from any of the 100 counties can be placed in your home. It is important to research which type of agency would work best for your family.
Seven Homes works to train, educate, and provide foster parents for children who need placement outside their own homes. Some children need short-term foster care placement during a crisis, while others need care because of abuse or neglect. Families are needed to provide children with safe and loving home environments while a long-term, permanent plan is achieved for the child. We work in partnership with DHHS/DSS and a stipend is provided toward room, board, and clothing for the child.
In North Carolina you can become a foster parent through a Public Agency or a Private Agency. The Public Agency will be the Department of Social Services in the County where you reside. The Private Agency can be any agency in North Carolina that is licensed by the state as a Child Placing Agency.
Be 21 years of age or older
Legal resident of U.S. and North Carolina
Complete 30 hours of training provided by Seven Homes, the Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP), the North Carolina State recommended pre-certification program for potential foster/adoptive families.
Successfully complete of Seven Homes’ Medication Administration training
Provide current medicals and Health History for all household members
Provide an approved Fire Inspection Form facilitated by your local fire department for your home
Provide certified copies of ALL marriage and divorce verification (if applicable)
No felony convictions involving child abuse, spouse abuse, crimes involving violence, DWI (within last 5 years)
No substantiated Child Protective Service Investigations
Willing to submit to a thorough assessment of your family and home
Visit the State listing page for all Private Foster Care and Adoption agencies in North Carolina. The Agencies are listed by the County they have their Principal office located in, and does not mean they only work in that County.
Seven Homes does not provide the above link because we are not interested in licensing your family. We provide the link because we want your family to have the information you need to make an informed decision. We hope that you select Seven Homes, but more important for us, we want you to feel confident with whatever agency you ultimately decide to license with.
Once you have decided which Agency Type you prefer, then you have to decide what type of family license you want to pursue. In North Carolina there are two types of license; Family Foster Care, sometimes referred to as traditional, and Therapeutic Foster Care. It is important for you to learn the difference between the two license types. Factors that can help determine which license type is best for your family are; The age of the child you are hoping to foster, The age of your children if any who may be in your home, your employment and flexibility with family leave, and any desires to adopt.
There is no direct fee to foster one of NC’s waiting children. However, there are fees related to becoming a licensed foster family, like paying for background checks, CPR and fingerprints.
It is our policy at Seven Homes not to license any new Foster Families as therapeutic. Our belief is that foster parents need experience working with traditional foster children and their needs before stepping up to a therapeutic level providing care for children with the most challenging needs. That being said, if you are a new family and want to pursue therapeutic care, there is nothing wrong with that, it is just our philosophy not to.
The children that are placed into the state foster care program may:
Have been neglected, abused, or abandoned
Range from infancy through 18 years of age
Be part of a sibling group
Have special physical, medical and emotional needs
Represent all cultural and economic groups
On average, it takes 6-7 months. This is an average and is dependent on timely completion of paperwork and other aspects of the process.
The training helps you consider:
Is fostering/adopting for me?
Am I able to attach and bond to a child or children not born to me?
Am I able to learn to parent a child who has been neglected and/or abused?
What type of child can I successfully parent?
Am I willing to co-parent with the child’s biological parent/family member?
MAPP allows participates to interact with other individuals while affording the opportunity to gain insight into the needs of children who experience the child welfare system and how the child and their birth family are impacted.
Classes are offered throughout the year, and are generally schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Saturdays. Please call our office to find out when the next scheduled MAPP Class is or visit our MAPPS Training page.
Classes are typically located at our offices. If it is being taught at a different location it will state the location during registration.
Anyone over the age of 18 may attend, but you must be 21 to be a licensed foster parent. It is required to attend an Information Session prior to MAPPS Class.
Another factor in deciding on an agency type and license type is your desire to adopt. If you are hoping to foster with the possibilities of adopting then you need to select a Private Agency that is licensed as both a child placing agency for foster care and adoption. If you are looking at your Public Agency, have a conversation with the licensing worker to see how they view adoption. Most counties will support their families adopting and will work closely with you. Other counties would like to, but manpower and other factors limit their ability.
Please note: Deciding which agency you want to work with might be the most important decision a new family makes in their journey to becoming a foster family. The relationship you have with your licensing agency is so important. Look for an agency that you are comfortable with, an agency that shows as much interest in you and your children as you do in them.
You can be single or married. Male or female, live in an apartment, condo, or house. And be of any race, religion, or income.
Each child needs to have their own bed, drawer and closet space for their belongings and privacy. Children under the age of 5 of different genders may share a room depending on the needs of the children. Children, birth, foster or adopted, of the same gender may share a room at any age if they are within 5 years of each other and there are no behavioral concerns.
Foster parents must be able to provide transportation to assist with doctor appointments, visitation, therapy, school, and other appointments.
Foster care is not seen as income, so you must have the ability to pay your bills and sustain your household and family, separate from your foster care stipend.
Your doctor will need to provide documentation that you are able to provide for children and do not have a limited capacity to parent.
State law requires NC criminal record checks going back 5 years. If you have lived in NC for less than 5 years, you will need to obtain out-of-state background checks.
A child’s placement may be for as short as an overnight stay or longer than a year.
North Carolina requires foster parents to renew their licenses every two years.