Foster Home Licensing

** Foster/Adoptive Parent training beings March 7, 2019. Please send in applications or contact Jessica Winebarger to sign up. **

What does it mean to be a foster parent?

Foster parents provide temporary care for children until they can be successfully reunited with their birth parents. They work with children who have been removed from their birth families because of abuse and neglect. The foster family, DSS, and the birth family all work together to return children to their own home as soon as possible. Foster parents participate in Shared Parenting with birth parents and meet with them to support reunification.

The Agency’s first choice for placement is with relatives. If there are relatives who have approved home studies, the court may move a child from a foster home to their relative’s home to help maintain those family connections.

If a child cannot be returned home and there are no approved relative homes, then the Agency may recruit for an adoptive home for the child. Some foster parents are also interested in adoption and are considered when choosing an adoptive family for the child.

How do I become a foster parent?

Our agency is continually looking for good, nurturing families to provide temporary care for children in foster care. We are especially interested in recruiting homes for teenagers and sibling groups. A good foster parent is someone who copes well with change; works well with teams, has patience for imperfect behavior and can give without expecting immediate rewards.

  1. The first step to become a licensed foster parent is to complete the on-line orientation for prospective foster parents.
    The orientation can be found by clicking HERE.
  2. Complete the Foster/Adoptive Parent application: HERE in a PDF format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, you may click HERE to download the program free of charge from Adobe’s website.
  3. Turn orientation into Jessica Winebarger by email: jessica.winebarger@watgov.org , fax: 828-265-7638 or mail: 132 Poplar Grove Connector Suite C, Boone NC 28607.
  4. Complete 30 hours of pre service training. MAPP training (preferred) is offered in 2 different sessions per year. One beginning in the Spring (March) and the other beginning in the Fall (September). Each session is 3 hours per week, for 10 weeks on Thursdays from 6-9. Childcare is not provided.

Watauga County DSS offers the TIPS-MAPP curriculum, which stands for Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. The TIPS-MAPP focuses on the necessary skills to prepare families to become a foster family. The classes are a requirement to become a foster/adoptive parent and are being offered free of charge. Each class will be held at the Watauga County Department of Social Services (Health and Human Services Building) in Boone. There are 30 hours of training involved in each series of foster parent (TIPS-MAPP) classes.

Criteria

  • Must be over 21 years old
  • Have stable income
  • Single, married , partnered, cohabitating
  • Pass home safety inspections
  • Pass background checks
  • Be in good physical and mental health
  • Complete all training

How do I become an adoptive parent?

Children who are not able to be reunited with their families can become legally free for adoption. Most of these children are adopted by their foster care placements. On occasion, DSS may need to look for an adoption placement. To be able to adopt from Watauga County DSS, you must have completed a foster/adoptive pre service training and have a current Home Study completed.

Contact Jessica for more information on how to be a foster or adoptive parent.

828-265-8100, jessica.winebarger@watgov.org