Become a Foster Parent

Become a foster parent and help a foster child live their best life

No two foster children are the same and no two foster families are the same! We actively seek out foster parents with different life experiences. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, join one of our webinars to meet the team and learn more about how you can start the process of being a foster parent.

Connect with us!

Join one of our events to meet the team and learn more about how you can start the process of being a foster parent

Call or Email

If you’d like to connect with someone on our team about becoming a foster care parent, please fill out our online inquiry form or call our Foster Parent Recruitment Specialist at 252-624-1797.

Online Inquiry Form

Zoom Info Sessions!

Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 5PM via Zoom, we host information sessions where you can learn more and ask questions about becoming a foster parent. Click on the registration link below to find a session that is most convenient for you.

August - September Sessions

Frequently asked questions about becoming a foster parent

Want to learn more about fostering? Discover answers to your questions below.

Do I need to own a home to foster?

No! Renters can foster, but you must have adequate space for a foster child including a furnished bedroom.

Do I have to be married to foster?

Nope! We license all kinds of families: retirees, two parent households, one parent households and same sex couples. If there are two parents, both must go through the licensure process.

Can I travel with my foster child?

Yes! We will need to know when and where you are traveling, but we encourage you to include the child in all your family activities! If your travel plans will exceed 72 hours, we must obtain written approval from the child’s legal guardian.

Do I have to meet the birth parent(s)?

It depends on the case. Visitation between the child and birth parent(s) is typically a gradual process. It is best for the child to form a relationship with their parent(s) if the plan is for the child to return home. We encourage safe and appropriate communication between foster and birth parent(s) for the benefit of the child.

Can I choose what “type” of child is placed in my home?

Yes, to some extent. We make every effort to match kids to the appropriate family based on needs, preferences and family makeup. But we do need some flexibility on your part!

What if I get too attached and have a difficult time giving the child up?

Feeling genuine attachment to a foster child is a good thing! It is a vital part of healthy development for kids, especially ones that have had past trauma. Though it may hurt to say goodbye to a foster child, the benefits that come from a healthy relationship will be worth it.

Every child deserves to find a permanent home. This may mean returning the child to their primary parents. However, in some cases, you might consider adopting a child who is clear for adoption. Becoming a permanent parent can be challenging, but it is rewarding and can ensure you always have a place in the child’s life.

Foster Family with Easterseals UCP

Ready to take the next step to become a foster parent?

Discover what it takes to become a foster parent below.

What can I expect as an Easterseals UCP foster parent?

We offer ongoing training and support to all foster families. Our goal is to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the process and the skills you need to create a nurturing environment for the foster kid(s) in your care.

We provide:

  • Training and education to empower you as a child behavior expert.
  • Professional support to ensure your success.
  • Connection to a network of caring families.
  • The opportunity to experience the rewards of helping a child succeed!
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Who can become a foster parent with Easterseals UCP?

Successful foster parents are caring, committed, open-minded, dependable, tolerant, consistent, patient and willing to try different parenting styles for children with different needs. Having a flexible schedule and demonstrating the ability to work as a member of our team are crucial for success.

Minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma and demonstrate the ability to complete documentation requirements.
  • Pass background clearances.
  • Be in good physical health.
  • Own or rent a home that meets licensure requirements by the state of North Carolina (including a separate bedroom for the foster child and able to pass safety inspections).
  • Be employed or show sufficient income to support yourself and family.
  • Have adequate insurance and a safe vehicle to transport children to appointments, school and other activities.
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What is the certification process to become a foster parent?

As a foster parent, you will be entrusted with providing a safe and nurturing home environment for a child. Therefore, we will need to conduct a comprehensive home study to determine whether you’re prepared to welcome a child into your home. The process is lengthy, but the rewards of seeing a child flourish in your care are worth it. Easterseals UCP’s Foster Care staff will be there for you every step of the way to help guide you through this process.

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What are the ongoing expectations after licensing?

Once a child has been placed into your care, you will be required to complete the following activities in order to keep your foster parent license:

  • Participate in ongoing annual training (minimum of 10 hours per year).
  • Enter daily progress notes in the child electronic health record. This requires access to an internet-enabled device and moderate computer skills.
  • Meet with Easterseals UCP’s Foster Care staff regularly.
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Do I have to cover the cost of medical care and medication?

No. Children in foster care receive Medicaid and we give you a monthly stipend to cover other costs associated with caring for the child.

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How will I be supported if a child has challenging behaviors?

We offer comprehensive training that focuses on addressing children with trauma and challenging behaviors. Once a child is in your home, our team will provide you with continued guidance and support. Your Child Placement Coordinator will meet with you on a recurring bases to discuss strategies. Overnight respite is also available to offer you breaks and team members are available 24/7 for crisis support if needed.

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Become a foster parent.