Children's Services

Child Protective Services (CPS)

Child Protective Services (CPS) is a mandated program. CPS programs strive to protect children from abuse and neglect while attempting to preserve the family unit. Child Protective Services aim prevent further harm to children from intentional physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, exploitation, or neglect by a person responsible for a child's health or welfare. In addition, the service also helps children who have no parent, guardian, or custodian to provide care and supervision, or whose parents or guardians or custodian is unable to provide for the care or supervision and lacks an appropriate alternative child care arrangement. Social services staff provide these services through:

  • Assessing suspected cases of abuse and neglect
  • Assisting the family in diagnosing the problem
  • Linking families to counseling and supportive services to keep the family intact
  • Petitioning the court for removal of the child, if necessary
  • Providing public information about child abuse, neglect, and dependency

Child Protective Services Reports

Any individual who suspects that a child may be abused, neglected or dependent shall call the local department of social services to make a report. Reports of child abuse, neglect or dependency can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

During Business Hours: reports can be made in person in the Social Service Building B Annex on the Brunswick County Government Complex or by phone at 910-253-2077 or 910-253-2415

After-hours, weekends or holidays: Call 911 and ask to speak to the after-hours social worker. The 911 operator will contact the after-hours social worker who will return your call.

Counties wishing to request assistance with a child welfare issue can call our intake line at 910-253-2114 or 910-253-2185. After-hours, weekends or holidays, please call 910-253-7490 and ask to speak with the after-hours social worker.

By law, the identity of the person making a report of child abuse, neglect or dependency is kept confidential. If the situation is a medical emergency or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

Foster Care

Foster care is a temporary living arrangement for children who have been abused or neglected and need a safe place to live. With the approval of a judge, the local Department of Social Services can take custody of the at risk child(ren) and place the child(ren) in a foster home. Birth families, DSS and foster families work together to return children to their homes as soon as possible. The length of stay in foster care varies from several days to much longer. In some case, the child is unable to return and becomes free for adoption. Foster parents may be considered as adoptive parents.

Foster families are recruited, trained, and licensed to care for abused and neglected children temporarily, while their parents work with social work professionals to resolve their family issues. Relatives may be licensed as foster parents.


Some foster children are not able to turn to their birth parents. Adoption Services help find permanent homes for children and to provide support to the families who adopt them. To learn more about becoming a Foster/Adoptive Parent, please contact Matthew Ames, Foster Home Licensing Social Worker, at 910-253-2112 or


NC LINKS is the Independent Living Services for Foster Children. The program is designed to help develop independent living skills and offer support to young adults. LINKS program provides services and resources to:

  • Young adults in foster care age 16 to 18
  • Young adults who are between the ages of 18 and 21 who were in foster care on their 18th birthday.

To learn more about the LINKS program, please call 910-253-2234 and ask to speak to the LINKS Coordinator.

Foster Care 18 to 21

The Foster Care 18 to 21 program is a result of the 2015 session of the NC. General Assembly, which extended for up to three years the provision of benefits and services to young adults aging out of foster care. This program is designed to offer continued support to youth who have aged out of foster care. An individual who has reached 18 years of age but is not yet 21 years of age, and was in foster care upon his/her 18th birthday, may receive foster care services if the individual is:

Enrolled in secondary education;

  • Enrolled in postsecondary or vocational education
  • Participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment
  • Employed for at least 80 hours per month or
  • Incapable of completing the educational or employment requirements due to a medical condition or a disability.

To learn more about the LINKS program, please call 910-253-2234 and ask to speak to the LINKS Coordinator.