- Why are children in Foster Care?
Children come into care through involvement with Child Protective Services due to allegations of abuse, neglect and/or dependency. Children may also come into care through court orders and involvement of the Office of Juvenile Justice.
- What is the goal of Foster Care?
Foster Care provides a temporary, stable, loving home for a child until reunification with the biological family or caregiver can be established.
- What happens when a child cannot be reunified with their parents?
Gaston Department of Health and Human Services works to identify permanency through adoption, kinship placement, and guardianship. Foster families are often considered top of the list for adoption so the child can stay in a familiar environment.
- Who can become a foster parent?
You may become a foster or adoptive parent if:
- You are single, married, or divorced
- You are of any race, gender, religion, or ethnic origin
- You are over the age of 21 years old
- You have stable income and can meet your own financial needs
- You have stable and appropriate housing
- You do not have to meet any education requirement but must be able to demonstrate the ability to read and write
- You can be a working parent
- You must pass criminal background checks
- You must be able to meet the needs of the children in foster care
- Your home has adequate space for each child (maximum of 5 youth including your own children)
- Relatives may also be foster parents if all criteria is met
- How do I get started?
View our 4 Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent.
- What are the types of foster care?
Gaston Department of Health and Human Services has 3 types of Foster Homes:
- Family Foster Homes provide care of a child, incorporating the child as a part of the family until permanency can be obtained. This could be a few days to a year or longer.
- Emergency/Respite Foster Homes provide care for a child for a brief period of time. The reasons vary from pending relative home studies, emergency removal by protective services, an existing placement may need a break or have a family emergency, or the current placement disrupts.
- 18 to 21 Program Foster Homes provide housing for a foster youth that is transitioning from the foster care system to adulthood. Youth in the 18 to 21 program are typically attending college/technical school or have a job. These youth need someone to mentor, encourage and support them as they work to become productive members of society.