Every child should have the chance to grow up in a nurturing environment that helps them develop into a healthy adult. They need parents who will support their physical, mental and emotional development. At Access Family Services, we are committed to training, supporting and working with caring adults who want to serve and support the safety and success of the children and families we serve.
Interested in fostering? We would love to meet you!
Who can be a foster parent?
We need dedicated, patient and flexible adults who are passionate about children and able to provide a child with a stable, caring and supportive environment. Foster parents
- must be at least 21 years old
- have at minimum a high school diploma or GED
- have a stable home and income
- be willing to be fingerprinted and have a criminal records check;
- complete all required training and be licensed by the state of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
- can rent or own their home
We are in need of all types of families
- single parents, married, same-sex, and domestic partner relationships
- foster parents who work, who are not working, who are retired
- older parents who have finished raising their own children or young families interested in expanding their families through foster care
We are in need of diversity across hobbies, interests, culture, race and ethnicity, because we believe in matching children to families who share commonalities.
What are the different types of licensed foster homes?
Family Foster Care serves children who are in the custody of a County Department of Social Services due to abuse or neglect. Family foster homes provide a supportive, loving, and consistent environment for these children while their families of origin work towards reunification. If reunification is not able to be achieved, alternatives such as guardianship or adoption are considered.
Respite Foster Care is a temporary placement, usually no more than a week, for a child whose primary placement provider is in need of a break from placement. This is a formal support system that helps address scheduled breaks for other foster parents so they can recharge and refresh, as well as crisis situations when a child needs a short-term immediate placement.
Therapeutic Foster Care serves children who may or may not be in the custody of a County Department of Social Services. Children and youth receive additional structure, a supervised environment, and daily interventions to meet their therapeutic and behavioral needs. Foster parents receive supervision and support from foster care program staff at least weekly.
Therapeutic Foster Care – Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a specialized targeted therapeutic foster care program for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. Foster parents are trained by Access Family Services in Applied Behavioral Analysis, a research based treatment and intervention with the goal of making meaningful improvements in the child’s life. ABA is based on basic principles of behavior, and endorsed by the American Medical Association and United States Surgeon General.
Intensive Alternative Family Treatment serves children who have not been successful at other levels of care. Child and family therapy is provided principally in the natural environments of the child. The child’s treatment team meets weekly. The family of permanence participates in weekly team meetings, therapy, and shared parenting. This setting has a higher level of consultative and direct service from psychiatrists, therapists, medical professionals and mental health professionals.
What characteristics and values do we look for in our foster parents?
- Individuals who are open to parenting children and youth who are temporarily separated from their families of origin. Some may have experienced abuse and neglect, and have experienced trauma that can impact their emotional and behavioral needs.
- Individuals who believe that with consistent, patient, and structured intervention, children can learn useful strategies to be safe and successful children and adults.
- Individuals who can give warmth and affection naturally to children and will share their extended family, friends, interests, hobbies and activities with the child to help the child develop and learn the value of an external support network.
- Individuals who can find natural ways to complement and build the self-esteem of children and youth in their care;
- Individuals who will show a personal interest in the child in their home and find time each day to talk with the child, praise accomplishments and encourage continued development and growth.
- Individuals who are flexible, have a sense of humor, and can manage their own adult needs and emotions in a positive way when a child is experiencing negative emotions and behaviors.
What kind of support will I be provided?
We are with you all the way!
Before licensure or your first placement, we will provide you with considerable training and skill development through the Pressley Ridge Parent Pre-Service Training. Once licensed, we provide ongoing in home and class based training and skill development opportunities.
Once you receive placement of a child in your home, you will participate as a member of the child’s team, supporting the development of a plan to meet the child’s needs. You will have the support of an Access Family Services Consultant who works directly with you to meet the child’s emotional, physical and behavioral needs.
You will receive financial support, which is based on a daily rate of compensation to assist with room and board expenses and special needs. The rate of compensation will vary according to the child’s level of foster care.
You will be provided opportunities for respite with scheduled breaks in caretaking and will be given the opportunity to take breaks between placements of children in your home as needed.
Will I have contact with my foster child’s family?
When a child enters foster care, the primary goal is to reunify them with their family of origin. In most cases, we will be working with the child’s family to return them to their home. A variety of circumstances may have contributed to a child being temporarily removed from the home of their parents, ranging from family illness, housing problems, mental illness, neglect, abuse, safety, or parenting issues. The reason doesn’t really matter, because we believe that all families are capable of change and children belong with their parents if reunification can be achieved safely. We will support you through interactions with children’s parents and help you identify ways to keep children connected with their families while they are living in your home.