Frequently Asked Questions
What is Foster Care?
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.
To be a foster parent you:
May be married or single
Must be at least 21 years old
Need to have sufficient income for the needs of your own current family
May or may not have birth or other children
Must live in the state of North Carolina
Foster parents can reside in a home, an apartment/condo/town-home, or a mobile home
Home must have a working telephone
Must provide children with their own bed and adequate drawer/closet space for personal belongings
Are required to complete annual training to maintain your foster care license
Who are the children that come into foster care?
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
How many bedrooms do I need?
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.
What does it cost to foster?
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.
How long does it take to get licensed?
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.
What are the benefits of the Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP)?
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.
When do the MAPP classes take place?
Classes are offered throughout the year, and are generally schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Saturdays. Please CLICK HERE to find out when the next scheduled MAPP Class is.
Who can attend MAPP Class?
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.
Do I have to have transportation or a Driver’s License?
Foster parents must be able to provide transportation to assist with doctor appointments, visitation, therapy, school, and other appointments.
Is there an income requirement?
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.
Are there any special criminal record checks required?
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.
Can you become a foster or adoptive parent if you have a disability?
Your doctor will need to provide documentation that you are able to provide for children and do not have a limited capacity to parent.
How often do I renew my license?
North Carolina requires foster parents to renew their licenses every two years.
What about adoption?
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.
Who can become a therapeutic foster parent?
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.
How long is a foster care placement?
A child’s placement may be for as short as an overnight stay or longer than a year