• Easterseals UCP foster family smiling with adopted children

Foster Care

More than 11,000 children are in foster care in North Carolina

The need is urgent. In North Carolina alone, more than 11,000 children live in foster care. Each year, Easterseals UCP assists more than 270 foster children in North Carolina to find nurturing temporary homes until a more permanent solution can be achieved. We train and support foster families in North Carolina to provide the best out-of-home care for children from birth through age 21. 

All children deserve a loving and nurturing home. Easterseals UCP’s inclusive foster care program helps make meaningful and life-changing connections. We are a nonprofit foster care agency that always acts in the best interest of the children we serve.

We serve a diverse group of children who are predominantly school-age and oftentimes living with behavioral and emotional challenges. In addition, many have been in the foster care system for an extended period of time and have experienced a wide range of trauma.

It’s our vision is to see children in the foster care system reunified with their families when deemed safe and appropriate. Should a child need the services of a foster home, we’ll provide the best out-of-home care possible until a more permanent plan can be achieved. 

No two foster children are the same, just as no two foster families are the same. We recruit families and individuals from all walks of life to welcome children into their homes and offer 24-hour support, comprehensive initial and on-going training and financial reimbursement.

Partner in Prevention Seal

Easterseals UCP’s Foster Care program has achieved Partner in Prevention status from Darkness to Light, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. This identifies us as a partner who has taken extra steps to protect the children we serve by training our staff to understand the issue of child sexual abuse, identify unsafe situations and practices, and react responsibly in the best interest of the children we serve.

We offer 3 types of Foster Care

Traditional Family Foster Care

Children in traditional family foster care have experienced trauma, often abuse and neglect, and are in need of supportive and loving homes. This service incorporates the following supports for foster parents and children:

  • Specialized training to care for medically fragile infants, toddlers, and children.
  • 24-hour crisis support is available.
  • Monthly in-person contact with Easterseals UCP staff to discuss the child’s wellbeing and ensure licensing requirements.
  • Team meetings that include everyone involved in the child’s case, including: Department of Social Services, birth parents, ESUCP staff and foster parents.
  • On-going support and training
  • Pre-licensing parent skills (40-hour class)
  • First aid, CPR and medication administration
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Understanding trauma
  • Client rights
Therapeutic Foster Care

Children in therapeutic foster care typically have manageable behaviors with moderate behavioral and emotional needs. Therapeutic Foster Care is a proven mental health service provided to a child in a family setting by specially-trained foster parents. This service incorporates the following supports for foster parents and children:

  • Maximum of 2 children may be placed in a home.
  • 24-hour crisis support is available.
  • Weekly in-person contact.
  • Monthly Team Meetings.
  • On-going support and training.
Intensive Alternate Family Treatment (IAFT)

Children in IAFT typically have had difficulty with past treatment options and have significant behavioral and emotional challenges or are at-risk for hospitalization or group home placement. Intensive Alternative Family Treatment provides a therapeutic family style treatment with well-trained treatment parents in the community. Children receiving this service typically have had difficulty with past treatment options and have significant behavioral and emotional challenges or are at-risk for hospitalization or group home placement. This service incorporates the following supports for foster parents and children:

  • Maximum of 1 child may be placed in a home
  • 24-hour crisis support is available
  • Weekly in person contact and daily phone contact
  • Weekly team meetings
  • On-going support and training
  • Weekly therapy

Here’s what our foster parents are saying…

To have been given the opportunity to share my heart with the children in my home and receive their love in return is an honor. Our experiences together have bonded us forever as a family. Being a foster parent is a life changing experience that I am grateful for.”

“Being a foster parent is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences I’ve ever participated in…I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! It has changed my life in the best ways imaginable, and has taught me to love in ways I didn’t think were possible.”

“Fostering takes an abundance of patience, courage and support. The stay might be temporary, but the impact is forever long. My goal is for them to become highly productive and positive people with a limitless future! I hope they understand I’m always in their corner, I support them and will always be a shoulder to lean on.”

“Being foster parents is living out our purpose in life. It’s having compassion to serve and the will to help and love others.”

Learn more about becoming a foster parent!