Home Departments Social Services Family and Children Services
Family and Children Services Print

The Family and Children’s Services Program Division focuses on protecting and enhancing the welfare of the children in the county by promoting their physical safety and emotional, educational and social well-being.  This is accomplished through collaborative efforts among the teams, which are comprised of Forensic Investigation/In-Home Services, Family Assessment/In-Home Services, Foster Care/Permanence and Adoption Services.  Services are provided under state law and policy and are coordinated with Law Enforcement, the Court system and other family service agencies.

Intake and Screening:

The receipt of information from individuals concerning the welfare and safety of children.  Allegations are documented and the information is screened to determine if it meets the legal definition of Abuse, Neglect, or Dependency as defined under North Carolina General Statute. 

Child Protective Services:

A legally mandated service aimed at strengthening family life by supporting and improving parental/caretaker abilities while assuring the safety of the children.  This service is provided through a Multiple Response System (MRS) comprised of Assessments or Investigations concerning children who are reported as being abused, neglected or dependent and through ongoing services to families following substantiation or a finding of “In need of services” or when services are requested by the family.

In-Home Services:

Provided when abuse, neglect or dependency is substantiated and the child can safely remain in the home.  A plan is developed with the family to alleviate the child care of safety issues.

Child Foster Care Services:

Temporary care for children who are separated from parents/families who have been unable to provide adequate care or protection.  Placement in Foster Care may be with a designated relative or kinship arrangement, a licensed Foster home or Group Home.

Permanency Planning:

This service is available to children when family reunification is the plan being developed or implemented.  Children whose permanent plan is adoption are also eligible for this service.

Independent Living Services (LINKS):

A permanent plan/goal developed with Foster Care youth between the ages of 13 and 21 to help prepare them for life on their own as adults.  All children in Foster Care, 16 years or older, must be provided services to prepare them for independent living.  Children who would normally age out of Foster Care at their 18th birthday can voluntarily receive on-going Foster Care services by agreeing to remain in school and follow an on-going plan.

Foster Home Recruitment/Licensing:

The purpose of this unit is to identify families and individuals who are able and willing to provide full-time substitute care for a child who is in the Department of Social Services custody either through a volunteer relationship with DSS or in an employment relationship with DSS’s contract with Neighbor to Family.  This care is provided in the family or individual’s home as the child is viewed as a temporary member of the family unit.  Foster Parenting requires each participant to complete a minimum of 30 hours of GPS/MAPP (Group Preparation and Selection/Model Approach to Partnership and Parenting) training prior to become licensed.

Adoption:

The primary goal of this program is to locate permanent, loving homes for children who are in the Department of Social Services custody and whose plan is adoption.  This is accomplished through recruitment efforts and through people who come to the agency voluntarily interested in providing a home for a child.  Adoptive homes are also located through a cooperative effort whereby other county Department of Social Services send approved family profiles to this agency and through the state’s partnership with Adoption Plus and the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.  Additionally, Step-Parent and some private adoptions are processed through this unit.  Post-Adoption Services are also available to families who adopt children who were in DSS custody. 

Home Studies for Court:

Reports, both written and actual court testimony, in need of objective information about the home family in custody cases.  This service is also provided to assess the appropriateness of relatives for placement of children in the agency’s custody.  There is a fee for this.