Becoming a Foster Parent

To become a foster parent call your county Department of Social Services office to start the process.
Phone numbers should be listed in your phone book under county government.
When you call, you will be asked for your name, address and phone number.
You will be notified about the time and place of the next orientation and training session.

To become a foster or adoptive parent, call 1-888-CARE-4-US – This is a direct link to DSS’s page on the official South Carolina state website regarding adoption and fostering.

What Is Required from Prospective Foster Parents?

  • Complete 14 hours of training through the Department of Social Services in order to become a licensed foster parent.
  • Complete an application and two home visits with a Department of Social Services family assessment specialist.
  • Anyone 18 years old or older in the prospective home must undergo a criminal background check and a check of the Central Registry of Abuse and Neglect and be fingerprinted.
  • Provide copies of birth certificates, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, marriage license, divorce petitions and decrees, and military discharge papers.
  • Provide three references from those who have known the prospective foster parents for at least three years.
  • Fill out a “child factors checklist” to help determine the characteristics the family is willing to accept in a foster child or the child’s background. This form includes disabilities, behaviors and other issues concerning the child and child’s biological parents.
  • All family members must submit current medical reports.

What Is Required of the Home?
The home must pass fire and health department inspections in addition to providing adequate living and sleeping space.

Financial Assistance
Monthly payments are provided for the child’s living expenses. These payments vary according to the child’s age.
In addition, there is a quarterly clothing allowance.
Extra assistance is available for children with moderate to severe disabilities.