Foster Care is substitute care for children who must be temporarily or permanently separated from their families. Foster Care services are designed to preserve, rehabilitate, reunite, and strengthen families whenever possible and appropriate. This is done through goal oriented service delivery that is focused on achieving permanency for a child within a twelve-month period. The services are designed to remedy the problems that brought the child into care and reflect the same expectations of the family during the life of the case.
Any child, ages birth to twenty-one. At age eighteen it is voluntary on the part of the child.
No charge exists for foster care; however, parents are required to pay child support while their children are out of their home.
Special funding exists for foster children to meet such needs as: prom dresses, school pictures, senior expenses, class rings, school sports, haircuts and perms, class trips, and summer vacations with foster parents or relatives. Also available are various summer activity trips planned by foster care staff. Some of these trips have in the past included: a day at Emerald Pointe water park, a trip to the Zoo, and trips to Tweetsie, Carowinds, and Celebration Station. Also, an end-of-summer party is always planned for foster children. It is the goal of the agency to see that foster children maintain as normal a family setting and schedule as is possible while in foster care.
Voluntary Placement Agreement — A voluntary written agreement is signed by the person or persons who have legal custody of the child being placed; or, a voluntary written agreement is signed by an emancipated child; or, a voluntary written agreement is signed by any person 18 to 21 years of age who was in foster care placement at the time he/she reached 18.
Adoption — The child is released to the county Department of Social Services for adoption.
Court Order — The child is placed in legal custody of DSS by a judge. At that time a Non-Secure custody order can be given if the child is in immediate danger.