The processes of becoming a foster and or adoptive parent in North Carolina involves a thorough assessment and mutual selection process that includes home visits, interviews, and criminal background checks. North Carolina does not have a dual licensure process. This means that there are two separate approval processes for foster care and adoption. Some agencies streamline those two processes as much as possible, while others maintain two distinct tracks. North Carolina law requires that foster parents are licensed by the NC Division of Social Services with families working through their local county DSS or a licensed private agency. Adoptive parents are approved through their local county DSS or a licensed private agency.
In North Carolina families who desire to become licensed foster parents are required to complete TIPS-MAPP (Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) or an equivalent training and assessment process. This is a minimum 30 hour course designed to inform participants about the child welfare system, the role of foster and adoptive parents, develop participants’ skills to become successful foster or adoptive parents and assess families to determine if fostering or adopting is the best fit for their family. While TIPS-MAPP is mandatory for foster parent licensure, it is strongly encouraged for families who desire to adopt from the foster care system as well. Parenting a child who has been in foster care is very different from parenting a child born to you. The information and skills you will gain from TIPS-MAPP or an equivalent are invaluable.