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Foster Care - FAQ

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I have children, is training really necessary?
Whether you have children or not the law requires you must go through 30 hours of preparatory training before a person can be licensed as a foster parent in North Carolina. This training is called MAPP/GPS (Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting/Group Preparation and Selection). The purpose of MAPP/GPS is to inform potential parents about the needs of children who come into the foster care system, and to help them decide whether they can parent these children. The training will explain the importance of working in partnership with our social service agency, the court system and birth families to meet the needs of children who have be physically, mentally, sexually abused or neglected or abandoned.
The law does not specify the number of training hours to become an adoptive parent; however, Henderson County Department of Social Service encourages those who are considering adoptions to take the MAPP/GPS training, especially if you do not have a specific child in mind at the beginning of consideration.

How long will the process take?
This is not a quick process.  The training itself is usually laid out over 3 months and since Henderson County DSS only provides this training twice a year, you maybe looking at 6 to 9 months from your initial contact.  Therefore we ask everyone to please be patient.

What is the role of foster parents?
You and Henderson County Department of Social Services will enter into a “partnership agreement” describing the duties and responsibilities of each. The following is a general overview of our foster parent’s role:

  • Realize foster care is meant to only be temporary. When children first come into care “Reunification is always the first goal”. Therefore cooperation and being a team player is very important.
  • Protect and supervise children.
  • Help foster children to feel accepted and loved.
  • Allow the foster child to express his or her feelings about their past or present situation.
  • Help prepare the child for any future plans that are made.
  • Hold in strictest confidence any information about the foster child and their birth families.

How do you let a child go?
You don’t!! You will always carry a thought or memory with you. Just think if a child can make that kind of impression, what impressions you can make on them. Think of the good you can do.

Will I receive any financial support?
Foster parents receive monthly financial assistance based on each child’s age and needs. These payments are intended to help cover some added cost for caring for a foster child. Foster children are also eligible for Medicaid benefits, which includes medical, dental, and mental health coverage. Henderson County Department of Social Services will also cover childcare services if both foster parents work or they see it as a benefit for the child. With approval, we also reimburse for things such as extra curricular activities, etc…

What about siblings?
Siblings are placed together whenever possible. However, sometimes it is in the best interest of the children to be separated based on their individual special needs. When appropriate, efforts are made by agencies to continue sibling visits after their adoptions.

Will I be able to adopt my foster child?
The majority of children are reunified with their birth families. If for some reason a child is not able to return home, then he or she may become available for adoption. Since the children have established a bond with their foster parents, the adoptions review team will give consideration to the foster parents if it is in the best interest of the child to remain with them.
For further information on adoption please contact our adoption social worker at (828) 694-6260.

Are their infants or very young children
available for adoption?
There are very few infants and toddlers in foster care in need of an adoptive home. They are usually already placed in a licensed foster home when they become available for adoption, and most of our licensed foster home placements are prepared to adopt if any child becomes available. We highly recommend you consider the foster to adopt program if you are only interested in infants or younger children.

How do I start the process?
Contact the Henderson County Department of Social Services to learn more about becoming a foster parent, (828) 694-6252 to request an application packet or click here to email us.

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