Foster Care

A Better Chance For A Brighter Future

Is there a greater gift you can give a child than introducing warmth, kindness, and love into their lives? We don’t think so. That’s why we’ve made it the mission of LSC’s Foster Care program.


Providing A Safe Space

Through no fault of their own, the children in our program have experienced challenges. LSC’s Foster Care program helps them change course by pairing them with foster parents who are invested in their well-being and committed to providing a smoother path forward.


Heroes Needed

We understand that it takes special individuals to open their homes and hearts to a child in need. Thankfully, we also know that there are plenty of you throughout the Carolinas.

LSC needs caring adults to provide children in our area with family foster care, therapeutic foster care, and Intensive Alternative Family Treatment (IAFT). In addition, LSC has a pressing need for families for all programs.

Is there room in your heart to help change the trajectory of a child’s life? If so, please get in touch.

Become a Foster Parent

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Levels Of Care

This program serves children who must live apart from their parents because of abuse, neglect, or other adverse circumstances.

For more information on foster and treatment care, including placements and referrals, email for North Carolina or for South Carolina.

This program is for children who need a higher level of care due to their emotional, behavioral, and/or medical needs.

This program provides intensive treatment in a family setting for children who need an elevated level of support, intervention, and supervision. Please note that IAFT is only offered in North Carolina.

For more information about the IAFT program, email or call 336-893-5420.

Foster Care

Transitional Care for Unaccompanied Children

Unaccompanied children are minors who aren’t in the care of a parent or legal guardian and lack immigration status. They make the treacherous journey to the United States to escape violence, abuse, neglect, or abandonment, hoping to reunite with family as soon as possible.

Most of the children come from Central America, predominantly Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Because of their undocumented status, they are sometimes placed in detention centers or other shelter-like facilities.

Fortunately, programs like LSC Transitional Foster Care, which operates in the Columbia, SC area, offer these children placement in a much more welcoming and loving setting with foster families.

LSC seeks caring and committed foster families around Columbia, SC, to provide nurturing homes for unaccompanied children waiting to be reunited with their families.

LSC Licensing and Recruitment staff will work with all interested families in the Columbia, SC, area to secure Foster Care licensure. The licensing process complies with the South Carolina Department of Social Services standards. LSC staff will ensure that foster parents receive training, information, and ongoing support, as they provide a safe, stable, and loving environment for a child.

The ability to speak Spanish is not a requirement for foster families. Bilingual staff at LSC can assist foster families with communication.

Qualifications For Foster Parents:
  • May be single, married, living with a partner, or divorced
  • Must be able to provide a clean, safe, loving home
  • May rent or own your home
  • Must be emotionally stable and demonstrate compassion for children who may have had traumatic experiences
  • Must be a US Citizen or US Legal Resident
  • Must be willing to work as a team for the best interest of the children
  • Must be able to demonstrate financial stability and that you wouldn’t be relying on the board payment as income, even though our program offers a highly competitive board payment
  • Fully understand that our program is dedicated to reuniting children with their families. Adoption will not be an option for children in this program
What to Expect

If and when an unaccompanied minor is placed in your home, they will begin attending a school sponsored by LSC. A developmentally appropriate curriculum is offered on-site by a certified teacher who helps children with English, acculturation, and transitioning to the public school system upon their release from the LSC program.

To learn more, call 803-849-4009 or email

Support For Caregivers

It takes a unique person to welcome a foster child into their home. As rewarding as it can be, it’s also rarely easy. Therefore, we provide each foster/host parent in our program with comprehensive training, including First Aid and CPR certificationand training in universal precautions and medication administration. We also provide 24-7 crisis support, face-to-face and phone contact, respite, a competitive monthly stipend, and periodic incentives.

In addition, prospective foster parents must be licensed in their respective states and must also adhere and commit to the following:

  • Be able to provide a healthy, loving, and nurturing home to a child
  • Be at least 21 years old in NC or 25 in SC
  • Have a stable and verifiable source of income
  • Rent or own their own home
  • Complete an extensive background check
  • Complete pre-service and ongoing training requirements

What if I have more questions about foster care?

For information about becoming a foster parent, including placements and referrals, please contact us.

Adoption Through LSC

Lead With An Open Heart

A home is much more than a roof and four walls. It’s a place where you feel comfortable, valued, and loved. We try to provide that environment for children in our LSC adoption program. To do so, we are always looking for warm, compassionate families who are excited to open their homes and hearts to a deserving child.


Home Study FAQ

Below is a list of home study frequently asked questions, please click the question to expand for the answer.

A home study is a court-required assessment based on information gathered from various documents and face-to-face meetings. Each state requires prospective adoptive families to have an approved home study, also known as a pre-placement assessment, before the finalization of an adoption. In NC, agencies are certified to complete these assessments by the Department of Health and Human Services. Many child-placement agencies will not work with an adoptive family until they have an approved home study.

The first visit occurs in your home, allowing your assigned adoption worker to review your submitted paperwork. This visit is also when your home inspections occur. Before their visit, your adoption counselor will send you a list of everything included in the home inspection so there are no surprises. This is not a “cleanliness” inspection but a walk-through to confirm the safety of your home.

Your second meeting will consist of individual interviews. These interviews might occur in your home or at the adoption agency. Additional sessions can be scheduled as needed.

In North Carolina, a home study is valid for 18 months.

Typically, you would need a home study update, which is a shorter version of the original home study and costs less. It does require resubmission of some of the same forms as the original home study and at least one meeting with your assigned case worker. We generally ask families to contact our agency at least three months before their home study expires so we can initiate an update.

The same agency that completed your pre-adoption home study will conduct supervisory visits after a child has been placed in your home.

These visits assess your family’s adjustment after placement and ensure that your adopted child’s needs are being met. These visits must be completed for your adoption to be finalized. Your assigned adoption worker will let you know how many visits you need to finalize your adoption.

Before your home study, you must complete the Private Domestic Adoptions Application.

Some of the information you will need to provide includes the following:

  • Family Profile form
  • Birth certificates for all family members
  • Marriage and/or divorce certificates (if applicable)
  • Certified criminal background reports for all adults age 18 and older that have been residing in the home for the last two years
  • FBI and SBI fingerprint clearance
  • Responsible Individuals Listing form (one for each adoptive parent — DSS Form 5268). Return these forms to the office with your home study application
  • Medical evaluations for each member of the adoptive family living in the home or any other persons living in the home
  • Income verification: copy of your most recent pay stubs, a statement from your employer verifying employment and/or tax document
  • Five sealed, notarized letters of reference from individuals who have known you for at least two years

It’s important to note that LSC is not a child-placement agency, so we don’t have any specific training requirements for the families we work with. However, we will refer you to resources to get the training and information you need. It’s critical for prospective adoptive families to be well-educated and informed throughout the adoption journey, including after a child joins your family. Education also helps families and children achieve greater satisfaction with the adoption experience.

Fees for services rendered are nonrefundable once the service has been provided. Please see below for instances when a portion of the fee may be refunded at the agency’s discretion. All refund requests must be in writing to the Director of Private Adoptions.

Application Fee: Nonrefundable
Home Study Fee: Nonrefundable after the first social worker visit

If a client closes their case after submitting the signed Home Study Agreement but prior to the first social worker visit, refunds for unexpended funds will be prorated based on services provided. This is done at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Home Study Fee: Nonrefundable regardless of the recommendation in the home study report.
Post-Placement Supervision Fee: Nonrefundable after the first social worker visit after placement occurs.
Interagency Coordination Fee: This fee is billed monthly in increments of .25 hours. Invoices should be paid within 14 days of being received.

Travel Fees: Billed after each trip. Invoices should be paid within 14 days of being received.

* Outstanding balances due to the agency for services rendered will be withheld from any refunds. Complete information regarding fees and refunds can be referenced in the Private Adoption Fee and Services Agreement. The Executive Director can assess individual cases and determine refunds for unique and extenuating circumstances.


Information Sessions

With so many things to consider in the adoption process, it’s common to become overwhelmed. For that reason, we want to make it easier to decide whether adoption is the right choice for your family.

LSC hosts regular informational meetings for families interested in exploring adoption. These meetings allow prospective adoptive families to learn more about the adoption process and the services that LSC delivers throughout.

If you are interested in registering for an upcoming information meeting or have any additional questions, please call an LSC case manager at 704-300-4130, e-mail, or fill out the adoption inquiry form below to receive more information.

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt-From-Foster-Care Program (i.e., SNAP)

Removing a child from a toxic environment and placing them in a nurturing foster home is a monumental step. But it’s only temporary. That’s why the ultimate goal is to find a warm, loving, and permanent home for children to grow up and thrive in until they’re equipped to take on the world as adults.

LSC’s Adopt-From-Foster-Care program helps identify loving adoptive families for children in the foster care system. Adopting a child from foster care helps replace doubt and uncertainty about the future with optimism and inspiration. It’s a great way to improve a child’s life.


Requirements To Adopt:

  • Must be at least 25 years of age
  • May be working or stay-at-home parents
  • May be married or single. If married, couples must be together for at least two years
  • Can rent or own their home
  • Must be financially stable
  • Must be able to provide a healthy, loving, and nurturing home for a child

Fill out our adoption inquiry form by clicking below.

Adoption Inquiry Form

LSC’s Role In The Process

  • Provide information about the realities and benefits of adoption
  • Provide parent preparation training for prospective adoptive families
  • Complete pre-placement assessments (home studies) to prepare families to welcome an adoptive child or children into their homes
  • Identify the best possible fit between families and children to decrease the chance of future separation
  • Act as liaison between the family and placing agency
  • Offer post-placement supervision to support and guide families
  • Provide adoption finalization services to assist adoptive families in achieving permanency with their adoptive child or children
  • Provide post-adoption support and referral to additional services in the community

For more information on the Adopt-From-Foster-Care program, call an LSC case manager at 704-300-4130, e-mail, or call 1-800-HELPING.

Transitional Living For Youth And Young Adults

Clearing The Path To Safety and Independence

Too often, teens enter adulthood without the skills and life experience they need to face the world on their own.

Numerous studies show that young people who have been in foster care are more likely to experience:

  • Homelessness
  • Unemployment
  • Poverty
  • Unplanned pregnancies
  • Incarceration

These outcomes are often related to limited access to resources, supportive relationships, and opportunities for upward mobility. Young people transitioning out of foster care need more assistance as they progress toward adulthood but are too often left to figure things out for themselves.

To answer this call, Lutheran Services Carolinas has created a program in Buncombe County as well as neighboring counties in NC, called Transitional Living for Youth and Young Adults.

This Transitional Living Program is seeking foster families to create a network of licensed host homes and support services for young people aged 15-21 who have been in foster care and need independent living skills as they shift to adulthood. Young people in our program have access to safe, stable housing and an LSC Independence Coach who works closely with them and their host families to build independent living skills, address emotional and behavioral challenges, and develop resiliency and coping skills. While this program is focused on teens and young adults, we are able to work with younger children as well.

Independence coaches also provide a person-centered approach to creating employment opportunities for individuals by thoroughly assessing their strengths and interests and building strong relationships with local employers.

For more information on becoming a foster parent, please contact Whitney Burton, Regional Family Recruiter, at or 828-283-0126.

Day Services For
Youth Program

Through a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the program offers foster youth a safe place to learn and grow during the day.

The program is in a renovated space at Reformation Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina and at Thornwell Home For Children in Clinton, South Carolina.

The hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and youth are provided meals, education support, life skills, recreational activities, and other enrichment activities.