Q. My child's behavior is driving me crazy. Sometimes I think I should put her in foster care. Can you help?
A. Slow down. Take a deep breath. There is help for you and for your child. Call the Baltimore County Department of Social Services to find out what help is available. The social worker with whom you speak will take the time to talk with you about the problems you are facing and help you choose the best direction to take. There are also a number of community-based programs from which to choose. Sometimes it is necessary to involve the police or the Department of Juvenile Justice if your child's behavior is dangerous, threatening, or illegal. Foster care is sometimes necessary, but many times other solutions can be found. We have several excellent counseling programs at the Department of Social Services.
Q. How do I get custody of my child?
A. Contact an attorney who can help you figure out the best course of legal action. The Lawyer Referral Service at 410-337-9100 will give you a list of the names of several attorneys from which you can choose.
Q. Can I receive Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) for my grandchildren who are living with me?
A. Children living with relatives who are not their own parents may be eligible for Temporary Cash Assistance. The relative may be required to file for support from the children's parents.
To apply for TCA visit your local branch office of the Department of Social Services. For more information, call 410-887-2800.
Q. How can I become a foster or adoptive parent for Baltimore County?
A. Call our foster/adoptive parenting inquiry line at 410-853-3170. Eligibility to become a foster/adoptive parent includes the following basic requirements:
- age 21 or over
- financially self-sufficient
- physically and emotionally capable of meeting the special needs of foster and adoptive children
- sufficient bedroom space (child must have their own bed, but may share a room with a same sex child)
If you meet these requirements you will be invited to an information meeting to learn more about these programs. There is an intensive home study process that will include home visits by a social worker, interviews with references, criminal background check, a written autobiography, and 22 hours of training.
Q. What is the telephone number for the Child Support Division?
A. Enforcement (Existing Child Support Orders) 410-887-4446
Establishment (New Child Support Orders) 410-887-3200
Payment Information 800-723-9937 & 410-333-8825
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Revised January 11, 2011