Every foster child is unique and every foster family is unique. In order to have the best child/foster parent matches we want to make our foster parent roster as diverse as possible. We license families all over Dare County and will consider those in surrounding counties as well, families with children of their own and without, single parent households and two parent households, working parents and stay at home parents.
Dare County hosts foster parent training classes at least once a year (sometimes twice) and the classes are typically held in the spring (March-May) and fall (October-December). Attending the classes do not automatically make you a foster parent; there are several other requirements that the agency will assist you with throughout the licensing process. In addition to the requirements being fulfilled, there is also an approval process before licenses are issued.
*Note: if you are a two parent household, both parents must complete all requirements.
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Completion of Foster Parent training classes (“TIPS-MAPP”)
- Home study by the Social Worker
- Family profile
- Fire inspection by the Fire Marshal
- Environmental conditions inspection by the Social Worker
- Medical histories for all household members
- Medical evaluation for all household members
- Criminal, civil, child abuse/neglect, sex offender, and nurse/aide health care background checks for all persons in the home 18+ years of age
- Fingerprint clearances for all persons in the home 18+ years of age
- Out of state clearances (if you have recently resided in another state) for all persons in the home 18+ years of age
- Agreement with agencies policies including: confidentiality, social media, and discipline
- Reference checks
Things to Consider
Meeting the needs
Children in foster care come from all segments of the population. Most of the children who enter foster care have been neglected and/or abused. Many of them will ‘test’ foster parents in the beginning. Foster parents should be prepared to address child specific needs in the following areas:
In order to meet these needs, foster parents need to be patient and supportive. Being an advocate for the child is key to their success. Working day and night to meet these needs can be draining and foster parents need to be able to recognize when they are getting overwhelmed and be comfortable asking for help from the agency, the child’s support system, as well as their own support systems.
In Dare County, water hazards are a major concern when licensing a foster home. Pool, beaches, canals, streams and other bodies of water are tempting for children and can pose a huge safety risk. A child’s access to these water hazards is looked at very closely when a family is going through the licensing process and licenses can be denied based on the safety and/or risk related to the hazards on or near your property. If there is a body of water on or near your property, you will most likely need to make modifications to your yard and/or home in order to be considered for licensure. If you would like to have your property assessed by a social worker prior to starting the licensing process please contact Brittany Canter at 252-475-5500.
There is no income requirement to become a foster family; however, the family must show that they have a stable income that meets the needs of their own family. There will be out of pocket costs to become and remain a foster parent. Examples of these costs are: fingerprinting fees, CPR and First Aide class fees, baby proofing (baby gates, outlet covers etc.), fire alarms, CO detectors, and fire extinguishers. Some financial supports are provided by the agency to help the foster family with the costs of adding a household member. The following monetary supports are provided to the foster family when a child is placed in the home:
- Monthly stipend based on the child’s age
- Spring and fall clothing allowance
- Medicaid/medical bills
- WIC for children under 5 years old (formula, milk, healthy food options)
- Childcare for working foster parents
- Child specific equipment/needs