Foster Care provides services to children when they must be removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect and/or dependency. The agency provides placement and supervision of children who are the responsibility of agency and are under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court, or children whose parents have voluntary
released their custody/parental rights. Our goal of Foster Care is to give the child a home and a family to care for him/her until he/she is either returned to his/her parents, adopted or the permanent plan is achieved.
Foster Care is part of a process that leads to permanence for a child. If a child is a temporary ward, then the initial goal is to return home. The most desirable outcome for everyone is that the child be able to return to his/her birthparents. When this is not possible, there is an alternate plan for the child and the outcome goal is a forever family for every child.
How to Become a Foster Parent
North Carolina State Law requires that all foster homes be licensed to care for foster children. These licensed are issued by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. County Departments of Social Services and several private agencies are authorized to work with potential foster parents to assist them in the licensing process. For more information on becoming a foster parent, please contact (910) 259-1240 and ask to speak with the Foster Care Licensing Social Worker.
Adoption service is offered through the agency for those children that will not return to their birthparents. It is a method provided by law to establish the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not so related by birth, with the same mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their birth parent. The primary purpose of adoption is to help children whose parents are incapable of assuming or continuing parental responsibilities to become part of a new family.
Pender County DSS embraces the belief that every child deserves to be a part of a family where they are loved, nurtured and have their emotional, physical, educational and well-being needs met. The agency also believes that every child is adoptable regardless of his age, race, ethnic origin or handicapping conditions.
LINKS Services is designed to engage the agency, youth and significant others in developing a transitional independent living plan for youth in the custody of DSS who are between the ages of 13 and 21 years. LINKS activities includes planning, coordinating and conducting activities with eligible LINKS participants in a group setting for the purposes of instruction, skill-building, leadership development, or collaboration with other youth-serving agencies to conduct such activities.
Confidential Intermediary Services
The North Carolina General Assembly enacted House Bill 445 (N.C.G.S. 48-9-104) that authorizes child placement agencies to act as Confidential Intermediary between adult adoptee, biological parents, adult lineal descendant and adoptive parents, by facilitating contact or the sharing of identifying information with written consent of the parties to the contact and the sharing of information.
Pender County Department of Social Services provides Confidential Intermediary Services to those individual eligible to receive the service in which the agency had involvement in the adoption process.