McDowell DSS Foster Information
This is an information flyer for prospective foster families
- 34 licensed foster homes
- 101 children in custody
WHY I FOSTER: Ryan and Aleigha West
We wanted to be parents, yet the stork never came! We grieved, we healed, we moved on, but the desire to parent never left. We could wallow in self-pity or take the lemons and make lemonade. We chose lemonade! We looked into foster care and learned that there are children, through no fault of their own, who need a safe, loving home temporarily and that is exactly what we had to offer! So we took the classes and got licensed.
We were worried the process was too long, but it wasn’t and our licensing worker walked us through every step!
We were worried we wouldn’t know how to parent, but no child comes to any parent with instructions. Each child has different needs. We have leaned on our community of family, friends, our social workers, and the children’s biological families when we need parenting support!
We were worried biological families would dislike us, but they don’t! Understandingly, they are frustrated with the situation. They deserve our patience, respect, and above all to really love their kids well!
We were worried the children would be destructive or unmanageable, but they aren’t. They will be upset with the circumstances and that is when they need us the most!
We were worried we would get too attached and WE DO! We certainly get too attached! However, when you love a child well, you love their biological family too! And we are elated to see a family reunited and thriving!
We became foster parents because we believe that sweet endings can come from bitter beginnings and beauty can come from brokenness! Our biggest regret is not becoming foster parents sooner!
Contact McDowell DSS to learn more about becoming a foster family. 828-652-3355.
Foster Family Orientation
Monday, Feb. 17th, 6pm
145 East Court Street
Online Orientation for NC Foster Parents
Foster Parents Needed!
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
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!