MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
News
How Do I ...
Online Services
Public Records
Departments
2014 Stories
2013 Stories
2012 Stories
2011 Stories
2010 Stories
2009 Stories
2008 Stories
2007 Stories
2006 Stories
2005 Stories
2004 Stories
2003 Stories
2002 Stories
Foster Care


Q:  What is the "payment" schedule for foster parents, adoption incentives received from the state and federal government, and any other funds received toward the number of children in DSS custody?  

A:  The average yearly cost of care for a child in foster care in Mecklenburg County's custody is $10,000. The Mecklenburg County DSS estimates it will have 1,500 children in its custody for the year. It costs the County nearly $10 million annually to care for approximately 1,300 children in DSS custody.  Therefore, there is no financial incentive to have children in custody of the County.

The state sets a yearly adoption goal for each County based upon the average number of completed adoptions for the most recent three years. If a County surpasses its state designated goal, and is able to provide adoptive homes for more of the children in its custody who are cleared for adoption and who will not be reunified with their family of origin, the federal government provides the County incentive money. The amount is $9,000 for each child adopted beyond the designated goal, and it is  $10,000 for adolescents and for each child in a sibling group. That money must be used strictly for adoptive services, such as recruitment of families.  In FY02, the County received $387,000 in federal adoption incentives. 

Q:  Federal law mandates visitation with the children until termination of parental rights takes place.  Mr. Stratton states he has not had visitation with his children.  Is this true?

A:  State law prohibits the County from revealing any information concerning individual child protective cases.  Therefore the answer to this question will be in general terms. 

Federal law does mandate visitation.  All decisions in juvenile court are made by the presiding judge and are governed by what is in the best interest of the child.  Visitation is afforded any parent if it is in the child's best interests, as determined by the judge. Visits may be supervised or unsupervised, as determined by the judge.  The judge also may impose restrictions on the visits or deny the visits, depending on the circumstances in the case.

Generally, the goal for children in the custody of the County is to maintain contact with the parents, other family members and others within their social circle, when these interactions remain in the best interests of the child.  As a result, decisions on visitation by parents and similar connections are made by the judge in each case.

Q:  Does the law stipulate that the foster parents have a right to be heard in court if they have provided continuous care for a period of 12 months?  Have they been given the opportunity to be heard in the Stratton's case? 

A:  State law prohibits the County from revealing any information concerning individual child protective cases.  Therefore the answer to this question will be in general terms. 

Foster parents are allowed to report to the court either in writing or in person.  The judge may consider the information from the foster parents in determining what is in the best interest of the child.

Q:  At issue are the future of nine children and the possible breakup of a family.  As a foster parent I have known parents whose rights to their children needed to be terminated.  But I have heard nothing to indicate that the interests of these children would be best met by the breakup of this family.

A:  State law prohibits the County from revealing any information concerning individual child protective cases.  Therefore the answer to this question will be in general terms. 

Because specific details of child protective cases are mandated by law to remain confidential, the public is often unaware of the all the facts associated with any particular case.  This is why decisions about child custody are made in a court of law with all parties represented by legal counsel and able to present their cases to the presiding judge.  Decisions are made by the judge base on what is in the best interest of the child.

State Foster care Web site



Printed from:

on: