Foster Care


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 child's birth family toward reunification by providing information on the child's progress, cooperating with visitation and offering support and encouragement to the child's 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:

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

Foster / Adopt Inquiry Process

You can print the Foster / Adoption Inquiry Form (PDF) and mail it to:
Foster/Adoptive Home Licensing Staff
Orange County DSS
113 Mayo Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Inquiry Forms are also available at any Orange County DSS location. You can complete these forms at either Department of Social Services office if that is more convenient and they will be routed to the licensing staff. After your form is received in the licensing unit you will be contacted by a licensing social worker to inform you of the next orientation meeting. Thank you for your interest!

Open Heart. Open Home. Orange County Foster Care