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Foster Parent Resources

Buncombe County's Foster Care Program provides safe, temporary care for children who have been removed from their home for safety reasons by the court system.

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Children from many different backgrounds, ages, races, cultures and religions come into the foster care system unsure of what to expect and scared to leave their families. Foster care is meant to be a transitional period for these kids, a stepping stone to reunification or a permanent placement with either their biological family or an adoptive family. Loving and supportive foster parents provide a sense of stability and security to these kids during this transition period.

Prospective Foster Parents often have the same fear, “We are afraid of loving this child so much that we get hurt when it is time for them to leave.” Our response to this concern is always the same, “Loving a child is not a problem.” All foster parents have to love kids and they also have to love setting them up for a safe and stable future in which they will have every opportunity to thrive.

For more information about Health and Human Services Policies and Procedures, visit the NC Health and Human Services website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Foster care is temporary substitute care for children who can’t remain safely in their home as determined by the Court. Child placement services are provided to any child in the custody or placement responsibility of a County Department of Social Services. Placement of a child in foster care requires assessment of the child and family's needs and careful planning.

The placement process focuses on the whole family rather than only on the child in placement. The child, the family and the foster care providers are appropriately prepared for the placement prior to the physical move of the child, except in emergency removals.

Child placement needs are evaluated, arranged, maintained and supervised in licensed or court-sanctioned placement, with services to assist in reunification or another permanent plan for the child. The agency provides services in conjunction with the community that are community-based, culturally competent, child centered and family focused.

YES! In Buncombe County, there are hundreds of children in care, but not nearly enough homes. This means that many children are placed in group-homes, away from their siblings or sent out of the county, far away from everyone and everything they know. We need strong, committed foster families to provide safe, nurturing homes for the children in our community.

  • You must complete 30 hours of pre-service training - offered for FREE in our six week training which consists of both classroom and independent work
  • You must be at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma, GED or demonstrate the ability to read and write
  • You must be financially stable
  • You must be physically, mentally and emotionally able to care for a child
  • You and adult household members 18 years old and up must agree to and pass a criminal background check
  • You and adult household members 18 years old and up must not be a perpetrator of abuse or neglect of a child
  • You and adult household members 18 years old and up must provide excellent references
  • Your home must pass environmental and fire inspections and be safe for children

You can be single, married, or in an un-married relationship.

You can own your home or rent.

You do not have to be rich to be a foster parent but you must be financially stable.

It is important to us to have foster families from many different lifestyles because we have children from all different backgrounds.

Children in care receive Medicaid to cover all healthcare related needs. Foster parents receive a monthly stipend for the child’s day-to-day needs.

  • 0-5 years old = $475 per month
  • 6-12 years old = $581 per month
  • 13-17 years old = $634 per month

We offer day care and after school vouchers for parents who work full time.

This can vary a lot. Our goal is for children to leave foster care within 12 months. If parents are able to remedy the safety issues that led to foster care or an appropriate relative can be found, the child may be with you for only a short while. If not, the child may be in your home for a year or more; this usually depends on how well the parents work in partnership with the agency and can address their safety issues. However, if the parents are not doing what has been required of them, the agency and the judge will start to look for a different plan for the child such as Guardianship to a court approved caretaker or Adoption.

Locate & Contact

DSS - Fostering Services


Amy Huntsman
Children & Family Services
P: (828) 250-5792

Social Work Services
40 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

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Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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