By Lori Nadeau
Right now, there are children throughout Warren, Washington, Saratoga and Essex counties who need loving foster homes.
Through our Give Hope a Home foster care program, Northern Rivers Family of Services connects people like you with these children every day. Our Give Hope a Home homefinders are out and about in the community every day—along with our friend, Hope the Foster Care Bear—and we’d love to talk to you. May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and there’s no better time to learn more about what foster care is and how you can help.
Sometimes the only safe option for a child is removal from his or her home, as decided by county departments of social services. Reasons can vary from abuse and neglect, lack of proper housing, or other challenges.
No matter why a child may have been removed from care, every foster placement is undertaken with two important goals: Keep the child in a warm, safe, loving place in the community where he or she can heal and grow, and to work toward reunification and achieve permanency in the families’ life.
One of the most common questions I hear is, “Who are these foster children?”
No two foster children are alike. They may be newborns, school-aged children, or teenagers and older. Each has faced a unique set of challenges, including abuse, neglect, trauma, emotional disturbances, and behavioral issues. They may just need a few hours of respite care, an overnight stay, a few months, or up to a year or more. Our goal is always to find a permanent living situation for the child, whether back with the child’s birth family, a relative, or an adoptive family.
There are numerous ways you can open your home and heart to welcome children in need of a safe and loving home. You can Give Hope a Home for a few hours or a weekend as a respite parent, or you can serve as a full-time foster home.
No matter who you are or what your situation may be, there’s a way for you to Give Hope a Home—and as one of our foster families, you’re never alone. From the very first day, you receive in-home support, comprehensive training, and a team that’s available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We support more than 250 foster families each year, and no two are exactly alike.
Northern Rivers serves 14,000 children and families in 35 counties as the parent organization to Northeast Parent & Child Society and Parsons Child & Family Center, and my team of clinical and family support workers for every foster family in our care is headquartered on Quaker Road in Queensbury.
If you are interested in providing a stable, and supportive home for abused and neglected children in your community, visit www.givehopeahomeny.org or call 844-855-CARE.
For more information on the organization, log on to www.northernrivers.org.