What is Foster Care?

Foster families provide a temporary home for children, who for a variety of reasons including abuse, neglect or dependency cannot remain in the home of their parents or guardian and have entered Department of Social Services (DSS) custody.

Relatives who are providing a home for a child in DSS custody can become licensed as foster parents for that child - provided they meet all of the licensing rules- however, most of the time foster parents are people from the community willing to open their heart and home to a child they do not know.

Although designed to be temporary, there are times when a child is unable to return to his or her birth family and foster parents may adopt the children they've grown to love. 

See our FAQs on Adoption from Foster Care for more information.

Show All Answers

1. Who are the Children in DSS custody?
2. Who are the Foster and Adoptive Resource Families in DSS?
3. Does Social Services provide financial assistance to foster families?
4. How do I become a foster parent?
5. Is there a need for foster families in New Hanover County?
6. What happens when a child cannot be placed with a family in New Hanover County?
7. What happens when children cannot return to their birth family?
8. What is Foster Care?
9. Who takes Care of the Children in Foster Care?
10. Will the birth parent know the foster parents?