McDowell DSS Foster Information

Foster Family Licensing

October 2021

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Trainings are being offered virtually through zoom. Contact McDowell DSS to learn more and begin your fostering journey. 828-652-3355

10/21/21 by zoom at 6pm for orientation to register for the upcoming classes. Contact Jenny Millsaps at 828-659-0684

Why I Foster: Steven and Jennifer Painter

Hey y’all, we are Steven and Jennifer Painter. We started out as some of those folks who saw a sad story on the news about a child who had been neglected or abused and said, “why did this have to happen? We would have gladly taken that child and loved him/her!” Yet we didn’t make a move to actually BECOME that family because “it was never the right time” or “we don’t know where to start”. But really, when IS it the right time? Answer: now. How do we get started? Answer: just make the call! There are children NOW who need someone to bridge that gap.

Our foster journey really started 8 years ago with a kinship placement of teenager although we didn’t actually get licensed until last year. Since then we have had 2 more kiddos to love on and the Lord has graciously given us the great privilege to adopt one of them.

Fostering/adoption is not easy. It’s full of messy and brokenness. But it also about redemption and restoration and it’s amazing to be a part of that process. Today you could take the first step to secure their tomorrow’s.

Why I Foster: Steven and Victoria Buchanan

At a young age I had like almost every girl dreamed of one day becoming a mom. In 2009 me and my husband got married and started our new life together. We were married 4 yrs. before we were able to finally have a beautiful baby boy. He kept us on our toes and oh the joy he has brought to our lives! When he was a couple years old, we decided we would try for another child. 5 years later numerous tests, iui treatments, hormones, pills and lots of heartbreak we decided to take a break from it all. Still the longing to have another child never went away. That's when we chose to be foster parents. We knew we had the love and capability to provide for a kid while they are going through one of the darkest times of their lives. I won't tell you it's been easy but when you invest in these kids and you start seeing the progress, they're making it makes it all worth it! The choice to foster was a leap of faith for us but I have no doubt I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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Online Orientation for NC Foster Parents

This is an online video that we ask you to watch prior to attending the first orientation meeting. Please print off your certificate once you complete the video session.

Foster Parents Needed!

McDowell County is currently in need for foster parents. It is the goal of the agency to recruit and train as many other families as possible, so that the children in our county can be provided with safe and stable homes while they are in the foster care system.

We need foster families for children of all ages, but specifically for teenagers, sibling groups, children with special physical and emotional needs, and children of minority backgrounds.

Like us on FACEBOOK McDowell County DSS Foster/Adoption

Requirements for Licensure

North Carolina state law requires that all foster homes be licensed to care for children in their care. These licenses are issued by the NC Department of Health and Human Services. County Departments of Social Services and several private child-caring agencies are authorized to work with potential foster parents to assist them with the licensing process and to provide supervision and support for foster parents. List of requirements.

1. Potential foster parents must participate in and complete 30 hours of pre-service training provided by the agency. The curriculum is called TIPS/Mapp- Trauma informed partnering for safety-model approach to partnerships to parenting.

2. Potential foster parents must complete a family profile by providing the most accurate and honest information regarding their family.

3. The family's home must receive and pass a fire and safety inspection arranged by the agency.

4. All foster families must receive and pass an environmental safety check that is arranged and completed by the agency.

5. All family members that live in the home must have a physical exam.

6. All family members 18 years and older must be fingerprinted in order for criminal records to be conducted locally, through the SBI, and through the FBI.

7. To be licensed, foster parents have to be at least 21 years of age.

8. Foster families need to have adequate income to financially support their own family without relying on the foster child's board payment, as the board payment is designed to cover the essentials of room and board to the foster child.

9. The foster home must have a working telephone. Cell phones are acceptable as long as there is good signal in the home, have access to charge phone during power outage, and child has access to phone in case of emergencies.

10. The foster family must have access to transportation to meet the needs of the foster


11. A high school diploma or GED is preferred but interested applicants with the ability to

read and write would also be considered.

12. The foster home must provide each child with their own personal sleeping space.

13. Foster parents must work well with the agency's social workers, birth families,

therapists, professionals in the community in this "partnership of parenting."

14. Applicants may not be employees of McDowell County DSS, a member of the DSS

Board, or McDowell County Commissioners. Applicants may also not be relatives of DSS

employees, board members, or County Commissioners. To be licensed as foster parents

with McDowell County DSS you must reside in McDowell County.

15. If there is another type of water hazard such as a lake, pond, creek, etc. that a child

would have access to, safety measures must be put in place. Your home or yard will

be required fenced in with a 4 foot high fence that blocks any entrance to the water

hazard from the home.

You Can Be A Foster Parent If:

  • You are single, married, widowed, or divorced
  • Over 21 years of age
  • Any race
  • Any economic background
  • Any religion
  • You own or rent your home
  • You are a stay at home parent or you work outside the home
  • You are physically able to work with children
  • You have a stable home and income
  • You maintain a drug-free environment
  • You have time to take care of a child's needs
  • You LOVE kids!