Foster Care

Email to connect with a foster care representative



The need

The need for foster families is real and it’s right here, in Cabarrus County. Human Service’s first priority is to keep families together, but for hundreds of local children, from infants to 21 years of age, that’s not a safe option. The circumstances that bring children to foster care are often beyond their control; their families face issues, such as illness, substance addiction and/or homelessness. When our agency determines a child is not safe, and a judge agrees, Human Services assumes custody of the child and finds a foster home for him or her.
fosterpromise250.jpgEach child has a unique background, personality and strength, but each foster child needs a safe and stable home environment. Some children in foster care require extensive care for physical or emotional challenges and some require help with undisciplined and delinquent behaviors. Many foster children do not have a strong sense of belonging or self-worth. Many are victims of physical or sexual abuse. All children in foster care require special care, support and nurturing.
While children are in foster care, the birth parents work with social work professionals to resolve their family issues. When possible, Human Services licenses relatives as foster parents. Length of stay in foster care varies from a few days to much longer. The foster family, Human Services and the birth family work together to return children to their own homes as quickly as possible. In cases where the child becomes free for adoption, the agency may consider foster parents as adoptive parents.

The commitment

Cabarrus County Human Services works to recruit families that reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our area. Our foster families are part of an inclusive community that supports each other through the foster process.

Human Services provides ongoing support, training and licensure for families to care for abused and neglected children temporarily. Potential foster parents receive 30 hours of training on topics, including child abuse and neglect, working with birth parents, and helping foster children deal with the issues they face. Classes also help potential foster parents gain insight on life as a foster parent, including how parenting another child may affect their family.
Foster parents must:

• Be at least 21 years old
• Have a stable home and income
• Submit finger prints and pass a criminal records check
• Maintain a drug-free environment
• Complete all required training and receive licensure from the State of North Carolina

Foster parents receive financial compensation from the agency for a child's room, board and other living expenses. The amount of the financial compensation payments are determined by the State.


A Human Services program, LINKS, is available to children in foster care who are between the ages of 13 and 21.  LINKS helps children with life skills and support systems. 
Ages 13-15
When children are ages 13 through 15, the LINKS focus is on determining the  skills children will need to become a young adult and exposing children to opportunities for building the skills they need in order to be successful in life. The emphasis is on planning ahead and identifying resources.  ThinkstockPhotos-93055603.jpg
Ages 16-18
When children are ages 16 through 18, the LINKS assessment process continues, but more activities and opportunities are available. The program assists youth as they become self-sufficient young adults becomes the primary focus of the program. Each child is assisted with the development of a people who can assist and support them as young adults. The LINKS program provides financial assistance to enable these young people to participate in special projects, activities and seminars.
Ages 18-21
The LINKS program can continue to assist the youth in becoming self-sufficient between 18-21 years of age if the child(ren) were in DSS custody anytime between the ages of 13 and their 18th birthday. The program focuses on assisting with completion of high school, obtaining a GED, employment, budgeting, family planning,  how to set up a household, etc.


Adoption is the method provided by law to establish the legal relationship of a parent and child who are not parent and child by birth. Once the adoption is final, the adoptive parent and child would have the same mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and birth parents. 
The primary purpose of adoption is to help children whose parents are incapable of assuming or continuing parental responsibilities to become a part of a new family. In order for adoption to occur, the parental rights of the child’s biological parents must terminated by a juvenile court holding jurisdiction or the biological parents must relinquish their parental rights.
Once the child is legally clear, the adoption process can be finalized. The process of finalizing an adoption involves specific time frames as set forth by law and generally takes 90 to 120 dThinkstockPhotos-489737556.jpgays to complete. Once the adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate is issued for the child.
Placement of the child in an adoptive home is based on the needs and attachments of the child and on the strengths and needs of the prospective family.