There are nearly 430,000 American children and youth in foster care. Resource families—which include foster parents, adoptive families, and relative/kinship caregivers—are critical partners in the foster care process. In Chemung County we have approximately 100 children living in foster care. Foster families provide safe, stable and supportive homes for children and young adults who are temporarily unable to live with their birth families. Foster Families also provide dedication, love, protection, stability and understanding to our children.
No matter their age, all children in foster care need a meaningful connection to at least one caring adult who becomes a supportive and lasting presence in their lives. The County is always seeking caring and compassionate families, and individuals, to foster infants, young children, adolescents, sibling groups or parenting teens, as well as children with special needs. Foster parents are provided pre-certification and on-going training, financial and medical support to meet the needs of the child, 24-hour emergency services, caseworker support for the foster family and the children, and a foster parent support group.
Chemung County Children and Family Services holds information and orientation activities every month. In addition to regular foster homes, Chemung County is actively recruiting for homes that will foster adolescents. The Department also has a need for homes that can foster large sibling groups and children with special needs.
For the young people in foster care, the presence of caring adults can make an important difference.
If you would like to learn more about how you can change the life of a child in foster care call the Chemung County Department of Social Services at 737-5557. You can also speak with representatives from Children and Family Services at the orientation session on March 21st at 5:00 p.m. at the Department of Social Services offices located at 425 Pennsylvania Avenue in Elmira.