Mecklenburg County Foster Adoptive Parent Association

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MCFAPA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P. O. Box 18472, Charlotte NC 28218  Phone: 980-785-3954

Foster Home Licensing and Placement?

What is a Foster Parent?

Foster parents provide temporary homes for children as young as infants and up to the age of 18. They provide care and nurturing to children who have been abused, neglected or declared dependents, until they are able to return home or a permanent home is found for them.

Foster Home Licensing and Placement

The responsibility of foster home licensing includes general recruitment of foster and adoptive parents, training, licensing, and ongoing monitoring of the foster parents in Mecklenburg County. 

Applications are provided at the Monthly Orientation Meetings (See Training Opportunities).  The applications are screened based on agency need.  Individuals will be invited to attend the foster parent training or provided information regarding why they are being screened out.

Training

Prospective foster parents must attend the GPS/MAPP (Group Preparation and Selection/Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting) during the selection process.  The training will help you decide if they are ready to be a foster parent and answer a lot of their questions. 

MAPP is a mutual decision process and an applicant can select out or be selected out by the agency if it is determined that they may not be a good fit for the children and families served by the agency.

Classes are held two nights a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30pm-9:30pm several times per year.  Saturday classes are offered based on interest.

Foster parents must be residents of Mecklenburg County with no child protective services or criminal history.  Depending on the date and type of criminal offense, and the applicant’s current status, licensure could be possible despite past criminal history, but there is no guarantee.

Requirements to be a Foster Parent

The requirements to be a foster parent include but are not limited to:  

  • Both husband and wife and any adult household member that will have caretaker responsibility of a child in foster care must attend the 30 hours of training and additional training requirements including CPR, medication administration, and Shared Parenting.
  • Receive a finger print clearance letter
  • Be self-sufficient (employment or retirement income)
  • Medical examination including TB test for each adult
  • Reside  in Mecklenburg at least 6 months
  • Be married at least one year at application
  • Pass a fire safety inspection by the local Fire Department
  • Fence in bodies of water such as ponds, pools, etc

Agency Needs

Foster homes for children of all ages, specifically teenagers, sibling groups, children with special needs such as emotional and medical, various racial backgrounds, especially minorities.

We need individuals who are flexible, open-minded, willing to participate in shared parenting, have patience and time to give a child.

To learn more about Mecklenburg County's foster care program please attend one of our foster care orientations (See Training Opportunities) Or call 704-336-Kids (5437).

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are some of the Positives of Foster Care?
Helping to keep children safe, Providing a better life for them and Knowing you can make a difference in someone's life.

Can I provide Foster Care if I already have children?
Yes, having other children can be a plus. If you have already taught them right from wrong, then they will help in ways you can not.

Can I choose the type, gender or age of a child placed into my home?
Yes, that is totally up to you, and its a good thing to think about. Because you want to make sure you are ready for the child they are going to place in your home. You need to decide what you want placed into your home, different ages, gender and what has happened to the child during their life will help in your decision. You give a range of age, gender (if its important) and what you believe you can handle, and when a child comes into care then you will get a call telling you about the child before they are placed into your home.

How long will the children be in my home?
Actually its really up to the birth parents, and whether they are willing to do the things required by DSS and the courts. The goal of DSS is reunification with their previous family, and they are given a certain amount of time to work through the issues that have been identified. Some parents can take care of things quickly, and some don't care enough to try so the children will either get adopted by relatives, your family or someone else then others that don't get adopted, age out of the system at 18 and continue their lives on their own.

Ask yourself if you can find it in your heart to help children that are not related to you, have different views on life and may have some medical issues. These children can be a lot like your own children, they have just been raised in a different way. They need love, understanding and time from you to help them work through the issues in their life. If you are committed and believe you can help these children, then you will be successful. At times it maybe hard, but in the end you will feel the reward and be happy that you became part of this ministry.

 FOR GENERAL FOSTERING QUESTIONS: http://adoption.about.com/od/fostering/u/foster_care.htm#s3
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