Policies in North Carolina

North Carolina Shared Parenting Policy

North Carolina began practicing shared parenting in 2005. The Division of Social Services adopted a formal policy in 2008, which was revised in 2015. The policy covers the purpose and strengths of shared parenting, preparation for the initial shared parenting meeting, safety, confidentiality, role of the social worker and post-permanency. Policy now mandates that every county and private agency implement shared parenting as part of every foster care case. Shared parenting is taught to every prospective foster and adoptive parent by a team consisting of an experienced foster parent and a “MAPP leader,” a county or private agency licensing worker trained by one of three master trainers.

More details in the playbook here.

North Carolina Diligent Recruitment and Retention Plan

North Carolina’s DSS developed the its most recent Diligent Recruitment and Retention (DRR) plan collaboratively with input provided at three regional stakeholder meetings attended by representatives of the provider community, the courts, foster parents, youth, county child welfare leaders, licensing staff, caseworkers, advocates and others. One of the goals of the new DRR plan is that “the state, counties and child placing agencies have the capacity to use data to inform and monitor recruitment and retention efforts.” The plan requires each county department of social services to submit its own individualized plan annually. The state also requires each county to create, maintain, update monthly and submit to the state annually a data profile that includes the following: characteristics of children in care, characteristics of families available for placement, average length of time from initial inquiry to licensure, total number of licensed beds, total number of available beds, number of children placed out of county due to lack of available beds, and number of placement disruptions or changes. Although private agencies are not required to submit data profiles, larger agencies have that capacity and the state encourages them to do so.

See here for more details.

Child Welfare Summit on Diligent Recruitment and Retention

In May 2019, North Carolina held the first annual Child Welfare Summit on Diligent Recruitment and Retention. The summit was an opportunity for county child welfare agencies and private child placing agency staff to come together to discuss ten key drivers for improving recruitment and retention outcomes. The key drivers include: data driven; leadership within and across agencies; child-centered; collaboration with families; collaboration with community partners; sustainability; quality customer service; kinship, guardianship, and post-adoption services; MEPA; and, develop and support families.

See state diligent recruitment plans for more information.