Interstate Services

Interstate compacts help states oversee and supervise interstate foster care, relative and adoptive placements, improve surveillance of delinquent youth and locate and return runaway youth. Compacts are the best means the Division of Social Services has to ensure protection and services to children who are placed across state lines for foster care or adoption.

Planning for successful permanency outcomes for children placed across state lines includes ensuring that:

  • each child requiring placement is placed in a suitable environment, with persons having appropriate qualifications or in institutions having appropriate facilities to provide care;
  • the authorities in a state where a child is to be placed assess the proposed placement, thereby promoting compliance with requirements for the child’s protection;
  • the authorities of the state from which the placement is made obtain enough information to evaluate the proposed placement before it is made; and
  • appropriate jurisdictional arrangements for the child’s care occur.

North Carolina participates in three compacts:

The Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ)
Enacted in 1963, this compact applies to delinquent or runaway juveniles. Under North Carolina law, juveniles are children under the age of 16. This compact is administrated by the NC Department of Public Safety.

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)
Enacted in 1971, this compact applies to interstate adoptions, foster care and relative placements. This compact is administrated by the Division of Social Services.

The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA)
On Oct. 1, 1999, North Carolina became a member of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMC) for children receiving adoption assistance benefits. ICAMC provides for uniformity and consistency of policy and procedures when a child with special needs is adopted by a family in another state, or the adoptive family moves to another state. The children this compact applies to are those adopted pursuant to adoption agreements between states and prospective adoptive parents under the terms of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. This compact is administrated by the Division of Social Services.

If you or someone you know require assistance with ICPC or ICAMA, please contact Division of Social Services Deputy Compact Administrator Althea Swinson at For questions about ICJ, please contact the NC Department of Public Safety.


County Assignment List