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Foster Care

The goal of foster parenting is to make a temporary care commitment to the child while working toward reuniting the child with his/her birth family.  Foster families help children feel secure and assist the child with the tasks of normal development.  Foster families also assist the childs birth family toward reunification by providing information on the childs progress, cooperating with visitation and offering support and encouragement to the childs parent.

Basic Licensing Requirements for Foster Parents

Any adult who cares about children is encouraged to become a licensed foster parent.  In general, to be licensed:

  • You must be 21 years of age.
  • If married, you must have been married for one year.  Single people are also eligible.
  • You must have adequate living and sleeping space for all family members and foster children.
  • You must be able to provide adequate supervision to the foster child.
  • You must have enough income to meet your familys basic needs.
  • All members of the household must be in reasonably good physical, emotional, and mental health as documented by completion of a routine physical exam.
  • Each household must have a fire inspection
  • All foster parents are required to complete 30 hours of pre-service foster parent training, and 10 hours of in-service training annually.
  • When you have completed an agency application, one of our social workers will do a home study.
  • A fingerprint check will be completed on each household member over age 18.

Application Process

Applications are available at the Chapel Hill Office of the Orange County Department of Social Services.  Training and a home study are required prior to being able to adopt.


Please Click on the banner below to access the official Orange County Foster Care Website.

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