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A Caring Alternative and Burke Primary Care Announce Collaborative Care! Read the press release.
Every 2 minutes another child in America enters foster care.  Become a foster parent today!  Click here to get started.

What is Foster Care?

Foster Care is providing a safe & structured home with parent(s) that have a desire & availability to ensure security to a child, adolescent or teenager in need.

Thousands of children from all over of the world find themselves in Foster Care. They come from various races, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds. Many of the kids have become victims of some form of abuse or neglect. The children are all unique in their own way and require encouragement, support, nourishment, and overall special care.

Foster Care Statistics:

  • The Total Population in Foster Care on September 30, 2005 was approximately 513,000 kids.

  • Average age of a kid in Foster Care is 10 years old.

  • Average length of time spent in Foster Care is 28.6 months.

  • More than 2 million children live with a relative due to lack of care at home.

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 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.

Foster parenting is emotionally demanding parenting, but very rewarding if you can be flexible, patient and work well with others.

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, teenage mothers and their babies, 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.

The first step to become a licensed foster parent is to contact our Foster Care Director (828) 430-4388 or e-mail fostercare@caringalternative.com. Our director will be willing to answer any questions about how to become a foster parent and mail you an information packet and application.

An initial home visit will be scheduled at your family’s convenience to discuss any further questions that you may have and to help you get started on the process.

A Caring Alternative offers the Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) classes which provide information and 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 Foothills Higher Education Center in Morganton, NC. There are 30 hours of training involved in each series of foster parent (MAPP) classes.

What are some of the requirements fore becoming a foster parent?

  • Potential foster parents must complete an application form and a Mutual Home Assessment.
  • The family’s home must receive and pass a fire and safety inspection from the Fire Marshal and meet building code.
  • The family’s home must receive and pass an environmental safety check that is conducted by the agency. If the family has well water, they must receive and pass a water inspection by Environmental Health.
  • All family members must have a physical examination and adults in the family must have a TB skin test.
  • All adult family members 18 years and older must be finger-printed in order for criminal records checks to be conducted locally, through the SBI and through the FBI.
  • If potential foster parents are a married couple, they must have been married for at least one year. Single applicants can also be licensed as foster parents.
  • To be licensed, foster parents must be at least 21 years old. All adult members of the household must attend training and complete all licensure requirements.
  • Foster families need to have adequate income to financially support their own family without relying on the foster child’s board payment, as the board payment is designed to cover the essentials of room and board for the foster child.
  • The foster home must have a working telephone which functions without use of electrical power.
  • The foster family must have access to transportation and be willing and able to provide necessary transportation to meet the needs of the foster child.
  • The foster home must provide each child with his/her own bedroom space.
  • The foster home must be a drug-free, domestic violence-free environment and not be receiving any DSS Child Protective Services oversight.
  • The foster family must be willing to conduct Shared Parenting meetings with the child’s birth parents and/or other relatives.
  • As a part of MAPP class, potential foster parents must also take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2 (MMPI-2).

The final step is staffing the family’s Mutual Home Assessment and licensure of the home. When approved, the initial licensing packet is then mailed to the State office for review and an official license is issued.

Special Information

A foster home license is good for two years. Ongoing training and support is offered through scheduled in-service trainings, home visits and child and family team meetings. If the family remains in good standing with the Agency, their license can be renewed if they have completed their training requirements.

Download our foster care brochure by clicking here.

Download our foster care information packet and application here.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, A Caring Alternative is now taking applications.
Please contact our Foster Care Director at (828) 430-4388 or fostercare@caringalternative.com for more information.


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Monday, July 22, 2019

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