Permanency Planning

Foster Care

Provides temporary care for children who have a finding of abuse, neglect or dependency and are unable to remain safely in their home. A child in foster care has been placed in the temporary legal custody/or placement of Onslow County DSS. Foster care is meant to be temporary until a permanent living arrangement is found. Onslow County DSS strives to ensure quality services for children in foster care and improve the overall wellbeing of children in foster care and to keep them closer to home and connected with their communities and siblings.

 Foster Care settings include:

• Kinship Care

• Foster family homes

• Foster family group homes

• Residential group care facilities


Kinship Care:

Family members can help give children with a safe, loving and stable home when they are unable to live with their parents. With kinship care or relative care, children benefit by living with relatives they know and trust in a place that’s familiar and safe.

Reuniting Families:

The social workers work with families on what we call a permanency plan. It’s a road map to getting the child into a safe and permanent home within one year of entering custody. First, we work with families to return the child to a parent or parents, and that is usually what happens. But, if that’s not possible, we work to find an alternative family (preferably a kinship family or foster family) to accept custody, guardianship or adopt the child. With legal custody, guardianship or adoption, a new family makes a lifelong commitment to a child , giving the child a chance to have a “forever” home without DSS in his or her life.


Adoption is a permanent lifelong commitment to a child. Adoption becomes an option if the child’s birth parents cannot resolve issues that made it unsafe for the child to live at home. It gives the child a stable and permanent home and lifelong support. Onslow County DSS may suggest to the court to end the parents’ rights to the child and place the child with another family permanently. A child can also become legally free for adoption if both parents relinquish their parental rights. Adoption gives the adoptive family legal protection because adoptive parents have the same legal rights as birth parents. Adoption can give children a sense of belonging and security because they know they will have a lifelong relationship with the adoptive family.

Post Adoption Services:

Post adoption services includes supportive counseling, information and referral, as well as identification of resources to adoptees and their families.