FFA-NC is Here to Support You!

Hello foster, adoptive, and kindship families. How can we help you?

In October, Foster Family Alliance of North Carolina (FFA-NC) established 1-800-578-7770, a toll-free number for families or anybody with questions regarding becoming a resource family. So far we have had families call our 800 number regarding:

  • the challenges of getting licensed because of water on or near their property,
  • guardianship,
  • becoming licensed to provide foster care,
  • and other concerns.

We even received a call from a family who met a child at an adoption match event and were having trouble with next steps. If you have questions or need to know more about your rights or any other challenge you are facing, please give us a call. We are here to help strengthen, educate, and support you.

We have also been holding events throughout the state to hear how our families are doing. The one thing that has become evidently clear is that our families need more support, so we are in the process of putting together programs to provide just that.

And welcome to the FFA-NC! If you are a foster, adoptive, or kinship family in North Carolina you are automatically considered a member of FFA-NC. One of our biggest objectives this year is to hear from our families. Your voice needs to be heard! Please fill out the survey found at the following link: https://bit.ly/2GrWXwV. Take this survey for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card! This survey will drive the development of additional programs to serve you.

Lastly, this year we will continue to hold meetings throughout the state. If you are part of a group or would be interested in having us schedule an event in your area, please contact Kate Norwalk (800/578-7770, ext. 2). We will provide training on topics where our families have indicated they need more understanding, and to help you understand some of the changes taking place throughout our state regarding foster children and families. We welcome families as well as agencies and organizations serving youth in care at these events and look forward to starting to establish partnerships to better serve the kids.

We welcome you to FFA-NC and look forward to meeting each and every one of you!

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FFA-NC Executive Board

Maurita McCorkle, Executive Director, has been an NC foster parent for over 17 years. She has had over 70 youth in her home over the years. She adopted two teens in 2012 and she and her husband are in the process of adopting two young adults. They also provide housing for young adults, helping them transition to independent living. Maurita has a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University and is trained to provide trauma-informed support to kids in foster care. Maurita also served as Vice President and President of the NC Foster and Adoptive Parent Association for three years. She has a great passion for foster care not only in our state, but our nation as well. [email protected]

Shane Lunsford, Board President, has been a foster parent for over ten years and is committed to giving foster parents a voice and the support they need. He has an undergraduate education in organizational leadership and a graduate degree in marketing. He has been in the healthcare field for over 20 years, much of it in leadership roles. Shane currently resides in Black Mountain with his wife, Erin, and their five kids. He brings expertise in nonprofit leadership, marketing, advocacy, and education to FFA-NC. He looks forward to working to ensure foster parents’ voices are heard at the local and state levels.

Board Vice President: Vacant

Kate Norwalk, Board Secretary, has worked for over 10 years with children and youth, from infancy to adolescence, in a variety of settings including group homes, inpatient mental health facilities, and the public school system. Kate is a professor in the Psychology Department at NC State University and also partners with NC State’s Center for Family and Community Engagement to develop training resources for foster parents of children and youth with developmental disabilities. [email protected]

Treasurer: Vacant

Stephen Fletcher, Communications Officer, received his B.A. in Psychology from Mars Hill College. For over 18 years he has been working in behavioral health care in a variety of settings, including juvenile justice, foster care, adoption, post-adoption, and social services. Stephen has expertise in training, marketing, recruitment, LGBTQ youth advocacy, project management, and grant management and writing. Stephen’s passion is to provide advocacy and support to children and families.

Legal Counsel Officer: Vacant

7 Regional Board Chairs: Vacant

FFA-NC is currently seeking individuals to fill the above vacancies, all of which are voting positions. Applications and descriptions of the responsibilities and terms can be found on our website at https://ffa-nc.org/.

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Understanding Guardianship and Adoption

Foster Family Alliance of NC strives to ensure foster and kinship care families are educated regarding processes that affect them and children in their care. The differences between guardianship and adoption is one subject we have identified where parents struggle to understand the meaning and ramifications involved. We provide the information below to help you make informed decisions about guardianship and adoption.

  • Gives guardians care, custody, and control of the child/youth, including responsibility to act as parent to the child (e.g., ensuring the child receives the basic necessities and a proper education).
  • Birth parents may retain their parental rights.
  • Court orders that award guardianship sometimes also outline other stipulations, such as giving birth parents visitation rights.
  • Can be revoked only if the court finds the birth parent is willing and able to care for the child and one of the following is true: (i) the relationship between the guardian and the juvenile is no longer in the juvenile’s best interest, (ii) the guardian is unfit, (iii) the guardian has neglected a guardian’s duties, or (iv) the guardian is unwilling or unable to continue assuming a guardian’s duties.
  • If birth parents pursue custody, guardians must obtain (and pay for) their own legal counsel.
  • Permanently terminates the rights and responsibilities of birth parents, including any say in the care of the child.
  • Adoptive parent assumes all rights and responsibilities of caring for the child.
  • Birth parents do not have legal visitation rights. Visits are up to the adoptive parents.
  • Adoption is permanent and cannot be overturned by the birth parents.
Sources: NC statute (NCGS 7B-600) and NC child welfare policy