Children's Services

Child Protective Services Child Abuse & Neglect Foster Care & Adoption  
Child Day Care Child Support Emergency Assistance  

Child Protective Services

North Carolina law establishes protective services for children from birth to age eighteen who are suspected to be maltreated by a parent or caretaker.

The law requires that any person who has cause to suspect that a juvenile is being abused or neglected shall make a report to the local department of social services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found. Reports may be made orally, in writing, or in person. The person who makes the report is immune from criminal or legal liability if the report was made in good faith.

In Stanly County reports can be made by visiting the office of Stanly County Department of Social Services or by calling us during regular office hours at (704) 982-6100. In the evenings or on weekends and holidays, a report can be made by calling the Stanly County Communications Center at (704) 986-3700.

Each report received is evaluated to determine whether the report alleges a condition which, if true, would fall within the legal definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency. If accepted for investigation, the Department is required to initiate an investigation within 24 hours after receiving an abuse report and within 72 hours after a report of neglect or dependency. The investigation must include a visit to the child’s home and interviews with the child, his parents, the alleged perpetrator, and other collateral contacts such as relatives, neighbors, or agencies involved with the family. Most investigations are completed within 30 days. If the investigation reveals that a child has been the victim of abuse or neglect, but removal from the home is not necessary, the Department will provide case management services to the family to work with the family to remedy the problems that resulted in the child maltreatment.


Foster Care and Adoption Services

Foster Care and Adoption Services are a range of services designed to find homes for children and to provide support to the families who care for them. There are many children in North Carolina who are placed in the custody of a department of social services because they have been abused or neglected by their parents, or who have parents who are unable or unwilling to provide a home for them. These children depend on foster parents to care for them until they can return to their biological parents or be placed into a permanent adoptive home. These children come from all ethnic backgrounds. Many of them are ten years of age or older. Some have brothers or sisters who need to be placed with them. All of them need a loving and accepting family.

Children needing a foster or adoptive home include:

•Children with special needs, such as physical, mental, and emotional disabilities; 

•Sibling groups and teenagers;

•African-American children and other minorities.

Foster and adoptive parents may be married or single, own or rent their home, live in an apartment or mobile home. The home must meet fire safety and sanitation requirements. Families must complete a special preparation class consisting of 30 hours of training. This training is important because it will provide information and skills to help prepare families to provide care for children who have experienced losses.

Foster or adoptive parents must have a physical exam and TB test, have a criminal records check, be fingerprinted, and participate in a licensing or assessment process completed by the Department. Since many children cleared for adoption are adopted by their foster parents, we strongly encourage families interested in adoption to become licensed as foster parents.

Foster children are eligible for Medicaid and foster parents receive a monthly payment to help with the cost of caring for a foster child. The monthly foster care payment is between $390.00 and $490.00 per month depending on the age of the child.

Special needs children who are placed into an adoptive home by a county department of social services may qualify for monthly maintenance payments, medical benefits, adoption assistance, and other services. Children who are considered special needs include children with physical, mental, developmental, and emotional disabilities as well as sibling groups, older children, and children of color.

If you would like more information about Foster Parenting or Adoption Services, contact us at (704) 982-6100. You may also view the North Carolina Division of Social Services, Office of Adoption Services web site at


Child Day Care

Child Day Care Services are available to Stanly County families who meet income eligibility guidelines and who need child care to enable them to engage in or continue employment or training leading to employment. Child care subsidies use state and federal funds to assist parents in paying for child care in a licensed child care center, a family day care home, or an individual child care arrangement. Parents (or the legal guardian) may choose their day care provider. In all situations, the provider must be operating legally. Federal regulations require that in most instances providers must meet some type of health and safety standards and agree to certain conditions in order to receive payment from child day care funds. To qualify for day care assistance, the family income must be within the limits established for subsidized child care and the family must pay a percentage of the child care fee based upon their countable monthly income. The amount of the parental fee is determined by the Department of Social Services, but the parent is responsible for paying the fee directly to the child care provider.

To apply for day care services or to obtain additional information, you may contact one of our day care social workers at (704) 982-6100.

For further information about day care and child care providers, click here to link to the NC DHHS Division of Child Development.

Child Support   

IV-D Child Support Services are available to any North Carolina parent or custodian regardless of income level. Individuals receiving Work First Family Assistance and Medicaid are automatically referred to the local child support enforcement agency. Persons receiving public assistance are required to cooperate with child support enforcement as a condition of their eligibility for assistance. Persons not receiving public assistance may apply for and receive child support services upon the payment of a $10.00 or $25.00 application fee, based on income. Child Support Services are also available to custodians other than parents, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, court-appointed guardians, or others who are caring for a child.

Services provided by the Stanly County Child Support Unit are as follows:

    1. Location of absent parents.
    2. Establishment of paternity, if necessary.
    3. Establishment of a support obligation.
    4. Collection of child support.
    5. Enforcement of child support obligation.

Mandatory guidelines are used in the North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Program in order to compute a child support obligation based on the combined gross income of the custodial and non-custodial parent. The absent parent may either voluntarily agree to an amount of support, or the obligation can be established through court proceedings. IV-D Child Support Services will not address child custody or visitation issues.

If you have questions or would like additional information please contact our Child Support Unit at (704) 982-6100.

Emergency Assistance

Emergency Assistance may provide one-time assistance in crisis situations for families with children under age 21.

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Stanly County Department of Social Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or in the provision of services.

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Revised: November 12, 2015