Foster Care Services provide children/youth under the age of 18 with a temporary home in the community when they are unable to live with family. Foster Care settings vary in level and intensity depending on the needs of the child. Specialized services place an emphasis on permanency for the child and provide reasonable and diligent efforts to reunite families.
Foster parents are skilled caregivers who understand the issues of child’s well being. They provide a structured and nurturing environment where children who have been abused and neglected feel safe and learn behaviors that will help them become capable and responsible. Prospective foster families must be certified by our agency according to criteria set forth by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. State and local regulations require that prospective foster parents complete a pre-certification training program and cooperate with a background investigation. These combined requirements will form the homestudy, which is a written document describing the prospective foster family, their environment and the specific skills they have that will help them parent someone else's child.
Whether children come into care because they have been abused or neglected or because of their own behaviors (Person In Need of Supervision or Juvenile Delinquent), our agency’s primary goal is to provide the services and interventions that will help children reunite with their families. Throughout the life of our work with the family, caseworkers must always engage in concurrent planning with families so that children do not linger in foster care.
Foster parents are important partners with the child’s family to make reunification occur. Foster parents must be willing to work in partnership with the child’s birth family, DSS/CFS, community agencies, and other people who play important roles in the child’s life.
Prospective foster parents will participate in "Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting" (MAPP). The group leaders work cooperatively to share vital information that will assist in making an informed decision with families.
Sometimes, children in foster care cannot be reunited with their birth families. When that happens, foster parents may be given first consideration to adopt them; therefore, families are dually certified to foster and adopt. Each family is recertified annually and the Homefinder who visits your home for that purpose will update your homestudy.
If you would like to learn more about foster parenting, please call Homefinding at 607-737-5557.
For more information about foster care visit the New York State Office of Children and Family Services website by clicking here.