McDowell DSS Foster Information

Foster Family Licensing

March 2023

Trainings are being offered virtually through zoom.

Call 828-652-3355 to learn more about becoming a foster/adopt family.

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 children that come in to care can remain in their home community. It is very important to the agency that children in foster care have a safe and stable home while their families are preparing for the hopeful return of their children.

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.

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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!