Malicious prosecution is an intentional tort. Basically you would need a civil tort litigator. If you don't know where to start looking for one, you can contact the NC bar association's Lawyer Referral Service
and just tell them you are looking for a lawyer to help you sue the Department of Social Services. They prescreen their lawyers and would guarantee to steer you to an active member of the state bar in good professional standing. They charge around $50 for the referral but it includes a free half hour consultation with the lawyer.
As to your original question, it's possible but not easy to sue an agency. Government agencies and employees are immune from suit or prosecution when acting during the normal scope of their employment. To get passed that "immunity" barrier, you would need to demonstrate negligence or misconduct on the part of the agency.
Thereafter, in order to win a case for false arrest
/malicious prosecution you would basically have to prove four separate elements:
(1) that you were arrested because of the defendant's actions,
(2) that the original case was terminated in your favor
(3) that there was no probable cause
for your arrest
(4) that the defendant initiated and/or continued the case for some other purpose than bringing you to justice
The first and second elements are always easy to prove in cases like this. The third and fourth element are very difficult to prove. Probable cause is just a reasonable belief that you may have been involved in criminal
activity. It doesn't take much evidence to make an arrest.
But you really should quickly seek out a lawyer and let him tell you whether or not he thinks you have a viable suit. Even if he doesn't particularly feel that he can make all 4 points convincingly you might be able to get some kind of a settlement.
The shelf life for this type of a case is short. And generally, and in many jurisdictions you must also put the county on notice that a suit will be forthcoming to protect your right to sue. So you will want to start talking to lawyers soon, as it may take you a while to find one. Many local lawyers don't like going head to head against local government agencies.