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Licensing Services

Why Become Licensed?
Is There a Need for Your Program?
Location of Your Agency
Is Funding Available to Open New Programs?
Role of Licensing Consultant
How to Apply
Licensing Rules

The Division of Social Services licenses child-placing agencies for foster care, child-placing agencies for adoption, residential child-care facilities, residential maternity homes and foster homes. Our consultants are committed to protecting children who, for a variety of reasons, find themselves living apart from their families. Licensing regulations and the activities of regulatory staff are focused on reducing the physical, emotional, and psychological risks to children while seeking to ensure they receive appropriate, effective and responsive services. Care and services must be provided in a way that values and respects the individual child and the unique circumstances that bring children into your program. It is important to remember that children need safe, permanent homes in a timely manner. The challenges in helping these children build promising futures are great, as are the rewards. We wish you well in this endeavor.

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Why Become Licensed?

North Carolina General Statute 131 D-10.3 requires that child-caring institutions, residential child-care facilities, group homes, maternity homes, child-placing agencies for adoption, child-placing agencies for foster care, and foster homes be licensed by the North Carolina Division of Social Services. North Carolina General Statute131 D-10.7 makes it a misdemeanor to operate child-caring institutions, residential child-care facilities, group homes, maternity homes, adoption agencies, child-placing agencies, foster homes without first obtaining the required license.

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Is There a Need for Your Program?

It is commendable to want to serve children but it is essential to know if there is a need for the program and services you want to offer. The applicant must conduct a needs assessment to determine if the services you plan to provide are needed. At a minimum, talk with potential referral agencies such as the local department of social services, the juvenile court staff, the public school system and the local management entity. Also consider the needs of the children to be served, demographics, service trends and the number of programs already in operation.

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Location of Your Agency

Child welfare agencies should be located near the families they expect to serve as well as being accessible to a variety of community-based services. Group homes, foster homes, etc. should be close to schools, transportation, churches, medical and psychiatric resources, recreational and cultural opportunities, and emergency response services. The administrative office of a child-placing agency for foster care and a child-placing agency for adoption cannot be located in a private residence that is occupied or a group home that is occupied or a maternity home that is occupied or a crisis pregnancy center or any other similar occupied dwelling, business or facility.

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Is Funding Available to Help Open New Programs?

The Division of Social Services does not provide financial assistance to open new programs. Historically, new programs have relied upon a variety of funding sources such as religious and charitable organizations, corporations, local citizens, civic groups and donor bases. After your program is operational, funding may be available from federal, state, or local governments or through private foundations. Please note that residential child-care facilities, maternity homes and child-placing agencies for foster care must be licensed and in business for a year before they are eligible to receive cost modeled rates. Information related to cost modeled rates can be found at (http://www.ncdhhs.gov/control/fcf/fcfac.htm). County departments of social services will only receive reimbursement based on the North Carolina Standard Board Rate for children in group homes and child-placing agencies for family foster care until the rate setting requirements are met. Child-placing agencies providing therapeutic foster care will be eligible for funding from the Medicaid program for authorized therapeutic services. Maternity homes must be licensed, in business for a year and submit an audit before they are eligible to request a per diem rate and receive funds from the State Maternity Home Fund.

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The Role of the Licensing Consultant

Their role is to help agencies become familiar with and comply with state laws and licensing regulations. Our consultants conduct announced and unannounced site visits to determine compliance with laws and regulations. Your consultant will assist you in maintaining a current license and will investigate reports that your program is violating licensing standards or laws. Licensing consultants represent the Division of Social Services and are given authority under North Carolina laws to inspect child welfare agencies, interview children in care and interview staff employed by the agencies.

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How To Apply

Review the web site for the type of program you want to operate. NC DSS is responsible for licensing the following: Child Placing Agencies, Maternity Homes, Residential Child Care Facilities, and Foster Homes. Become familiar with the rules and regulations for the program. Review the Phases for Licensure and complete the Inquiry Form.

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Licensing Rules
http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac.asp?folderName=\Title%2010A%20-%20Health%20and%20Human%20Services\Chapter%2070%20-%20Children's%20Services

Administrative Rules for Family Foster Homes and Therapeutic Foster Homes are found in Administrative Code 10A, Subchapter E.
Administrative Rules for Child-Placing Agencies for Foster Care are found in Administrative Code 10A, Subchapters F and G.
Administrative Rules for Child-Placing Agencies for Adoption are found in Administrative Code 10A, Subchapters F and H.
Administrative Rules for Residential Maternity Care are found in Administrative Code 10A, Subchapters F and K.
Administrative Rules for Residential Child-Care are found in Administrative Code 10A, Subchapters I and J.

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We strive to keep this information as accurate as possible. If information on this page needs to be updated, please Email us.

 

Page Modified 10/15/2012

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