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Office Location:

DSS Main Office
​Wallace H. Kuralt Centre
301 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

West Charlotte Location
Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.


Customer Connection




Mission  Statement:

"To provide top-notch training and consultation services to foster, adoptive, and kinship placement providers and the DSS staff who serve them."

Foster Parent

Attention all Youth and Family Services Families!   Are you parenting a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD?  Does your child have a problem with lying?  Not sure how to help your child handle grief?  You can find courses to assist you at Foster Parent    

You have an opportunity to have a new learning experience. has come to YFS. offers over 35 on-line courses that YFS is prepared to cover the cost for you.  Simply follow these steps:

1-            Visit and select a class that you would like to enroll in for training hours.

2-            Send an e-mail to or call

3-            In order to avoid you receiving a bill,  the Training Specialist will have to enroll you in the class.

4-            An e-mail will be sent to you from about how to activate the class. 


             ​Mecklenburg County Learning Collaborative                           


  Effective 7/1/17, DSS-YFS has partnered with the following agencies to make training more accessible to YOU!

                                    •  Access Family Services
                                    • Carolina Family Connections
                                    • Children's Home Society
                                    • Children's Hope Alliance
                                    • Florence Crittenton Agency
                                    • Pinnacle
                                    • Unique Caring Foundation


Please check back periodically for updates on in-servvice training opportunities through DSS-YFS and these partnering agencies.  Don't see your agency listed?  Email  to request that your agency be added!!!


Independent Psychological Assessment

We are excited to announce the Teen Health Connection will be presenting valuable information about the Independent Psychological Assessment.  Click here for more information.

Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard training

The Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard allows foster parents to give their foster children permission to do age-appropriate activities that promote cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral growth. All states are now required to promote normalcy for children in foster care.

Click here for the training 

Multiethnic Placement Act 101  (MEPA) Training for Foster Parents


In order to receive credit for completing the MEPA training, foster parents will need to complete the related survey/quiz, which can be accessed through the following link.


TIPS-MAPP: An Overview for KINSHIP caregivers


TIPS-MAPP is an evidenced-based curriculum required in order to become a licensed caregiver for youth in DSS custody.  Mecklenburg County is excited to offer this pre-service adapted for kinship providers. Click here to learn more about what you will learn in each session and the benefits of pursuing licensure.  The next training is scheduled for September 2016. Check back regularly for more details.


2017 and 2018   Agency Orientation and Pre-Adoption Workshops  

​"EDUCATION  is the most powerful weapon which you can  use to change the world."     Nelson Mandela

​Meet The Trainers:

Layla Bluefort portrait

Layla Bluefort, MSW assumed her role as a Training Specialist for Mecklenburg County's Youth and Family Services in November 2017.  Her primary responsibilities will include teaching TIPPS-MAPPS classes, in addition to, developing, facilitating, and evaluating other training programs and in-services to develop foster/kinship/adoptive parents' skills and knowledge to create a trauma-informed environment in their home.  She is also certified as Triple P Parenting Practitioner for Level 3 (birth to 18); Level 3 Teen Discussion Group; and Level 4 (Birth to 12).  She is a Mental Health First Aid instructor in both the Youth and Adult versions.

Her passion for Foster Care began in January 2009 when she was sworn in as Guardian Ad Litem for Mecklenburg County.  Since obtaining her MSW in 2013 from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC she has found her passion in improving the lives of youth, adolescent, teen mothers, and families particularly those impacted by dating/domestic violence, mental health, substance abuse, and child welfare.  She began her social work career at Johnson C. Smith University where she developed their "I Matter" program which served as the University's on-campus safe space to address dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in addition to facilitating workshops and organizing campus awareness events.  She has been employed with Johnson C. Smith University's School of Social Work as an Adjunct Professor, since May 2013, that has allowed her experience with curriculum development and the opportunity to teach both traditional and nontraditional social work students.  Ms. Bluefort, served as the director of JCSU's nSORO Precollegiate Summer Camp, from June 2014 to June 2017, which exposed high schoolers in foster care to the possibilities of achieving success in higher education.  Her love for inspiring others has moved beyond the classroom and into the community as she has facilitated several workshops on topics such as healthy relationships, time management and organization, resiliency, and job search skills.

One of her favorite quotes is "By doing what you LOVE, you INSPIRE and awaken the hearts of others."-Satsuki Shibuya



Foster Parent Spotlight:      

Pam Jolley with foster child


 Pam Jolley has been a foster parent with Mecklenburg County DSS for over two years.  Though she has not been with the agency for very long, the actions that she has taken on behalf of the children in her care have had great impact.  Ms. Jolley's most recent placement involved providing care for a toddler with significant medical needs.  This particular child had several moves as they had some illnesses that other foster parents just hadn't been able to handle.  Ms. Jolley was able to do so.  Not only was she wonderful with the child, but she also EXCELLED at shared parenting with the child's father.  Due to the child's frequent illnesses, Ms. Jolley and the father coordinated their schedules in such a manner that caused neither of them to have to take significant time from work and other obligations, and truly embodied the spirit of shared parenting in their joint provision of care for this child.  When the child  was reunified with their family, Ms. Jolley had a cook-out at her home for the child and  family to celebrate the child's return home.  This gathering provided the opportunity for the formation of additional connections among the extended families of all involved, supported a smooth transition for this child, and increased the informal support network available to the child and family.  Mecklenburg County DSS proudly salutes Ms. Jolley for a job well done!

 Lending Library... We are EXCITED to announce that we have featured books in our lending library. Click here to view the featured books.  We will be adding additional books in the future.  Please contact your L& P Social Worker or to request a book.

Foster and Adoptive Resource Links Below:

Mecklenburg County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association

Fostering Perspectives Newsletter

National Foster Parent Association

                   NEW Training Resource Link:

 Adoption Subsidy Webinar

information coming soon!

As part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma offers Free Online Education with:

  • 300+ FREE CE certificates
  • 50+ speakers
  • 200+ online webinars
  • 90,000+ members
    Join the movement & register TODAY!


Additional Training Resources

Child Welfare Information Gateway


The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)  

Generations United

Barriers to “Claiming” an Older Child in Adoption.

The Donaldson Adoption Institute

  NC Reach  (scholarship information for foster care youth)

      Child Welfare Information Gateway-Normalcy for Children in Foster Care

Parenting the Sexually Abused Child.pdf



Office Location:

DSS Main Office
​Wallace H. Kuralt Centre
301 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

West Charlotte Location
Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.


Customer Connection