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NC extends age of children allowed in foster care system to 21

The state of North Carolina has decided to expand the foster care system to provide aid for young adults as they transition into adulthood. Under the new law, people over the age of 18 can now be in the system until their 21st birthday.

After leaving foster care but realizing they are unable to make it on their own, young adults can reapply to be put into the system. This move was made possible by the approval of the North Carolina General Assembly in late 2016 and will take effect this year. According to Kevin Kelley, who is with the state Division of Child Welfare Services, state and federal funding provides aid to around 1,000 young adults.

Our attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC provide legal services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas in North Carolina. We handle family law cases that involve child support and adoption, among others. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at 919-833-1040.

Foster Homes: A Short-Term Placement for Children

There are a few details which need to be clear when it comes to the foster care system, especially in North Carolina.

Foster care has always been about providing temporary care and living quarters for children who may have been victims of abuse or neglect, or children who may have lost the people they depend on early in life.

Should the Department of Social Services have to step in to assess the safety and well-being of a child, a social worker will be assigned to the boy or girl. If the social worker determines that a living situation is unsuitable for the child, he or she will then continue to monitor the child through the foster system in order to ensure that the new living situation is an improvement.

North Carolina laws mandate that potential foster care parents undergo 30 hours of foster care training before they obtain a license that can qualify them to have children under their care. While foster homes are a valuable source of security and protection, the ultimate goal is to find parents who will adopt foster children.

If you are looking to adopt in Raleigh or anywhere in the state of North Carolina, our attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC can help you with the legal process. Call our offices today at 919-833-1040 to learn how we can help.

North Carolina’s Guardian Ad Litem program seeks volunteers

The organizers of the Guardian Ad Litem program in North Carolina are reaching out to local families to recruit volunteers to visit and advocate for children who are removed from abusive households, mtairynews.com reports.

Kate Appler, the program’s district administrator for the Surry and Stokes counties, says that volunteers generally donate 3-6 hours of their time every month to visit the children, write court reports, and accompany them to court when their case is heard. However, Appler noted that in the counties she had been overseeing, cases of child abuse and negligence have increased in the past few years and have reached the point wherein 66 children currently have no advocates.

For more information about how to help out, you can email Kate Appler at kate.appler@nccourts.org.

If you are currently going through a family legal issue such as a child custody case, a divorce, or even a domestic abuse case in Raleigh, our legal team at Marshall & Taylor, PLLC can be counted on to represent the best interest of you and your children until the resolution of your case. Call our offices today at 919-833-1040.

First increase in foster care children in seven years

According to records from the Department of Health and Human Services, the number of children in the United States residing in foster homes increased slightly in 2013 after a seven-year decline, The Associated Press reported on September 29.

According to HHS’s annual report, there are 403,378 children in the U.S. foster care system–higher than 2012’s 397,000. The year when there were the highest number of children residing in foster homes in the U.S. was 2002, amounting to 524,000 children.

Since 2005, records of foster home children occupancy have been dipping. According to officials, the long-term decrease can be attributed to policy shifts regarding how state and county child welfare agencies operate. HHS’s administration on children, youth, and families associate commissioner JooYeun Chang said the foster numbers vary among the states and that many states are still enacting measures to decrease their foster care populations.

Last year, 101,840 children were available for adoption from the foster care system.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, trust our attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC to guide you through the adoption process. Call our offices at 919-833-1040 today to learn how we may help you.

Couple incites online anger after post advertising for adoption

Jackson County residents Coy and Shelbi Gunther posted a Facebook status asking the public if there were any unwanted babies they could adopt, the Sylva Herald reported on July 29.

This resulted in a backlash for the couple, as people commented with insults and outrage. The post offended the public, who generally thought the couple should have pursued adoption through an agency if they were truly serious about it.

According to Jackson County Social Services director Bob Cochran, posting an ad online to look for a baby to adopt is not illegal, but is also not the best option. The Gunthers would not know about the baby’s medical background and other information about the biological parents.

Adoption is a life-changing process that can grant a couple the opportunity to raise a child as their own. If you are considering adoption, the attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC can guide you through your options and finalize the legal documents. Call our Raleigh offices at 919-833-1040 today to speak with a knowledgeable representative.

Custody dispute ends, great-uncle adopts toddler

A custody battle involving the foster parents and extended biological relatives of a 2 1/2-year-old girl has ended, and her great-uncle will adopt her, The Wichita Eagle reported on July 13.

Sedgwick County juvenile court Judge Robb Rumsey ruled in January that the toddler could not live with her great-grandmother in South Carolina as an adopted daughter because of her limited finances and her age. Despite her foster parents seeking custody, it was favored in court that the girl should live with her great-uncle and older sisters in North Carolina. The great-uncle adopted the little girl’s three older sisters in July 2013 after a home study and the approval of Kansas and North Carolina officials.

If you are interested in adopting a child, the attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC can guide you through the legalities and help you consider different decisions in the adoption process. Call our offices today at 919-833-1040 to schedule an initial appointment with us.

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