County Welcomes Foster Families
to Picnic at Bowdoin Park
Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and the County Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) recently welcomed more than 100 foster care families to a picnic at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Every boy and girl deserves the chance to have a childhood. Foster parents throughout Dutchess County have opened their homes and their hearts to hundreds of local children, giving them that sense of normalcy while circumstances have separated them from their biological parents. Today’s picnic is an opportunity to let kids be kids, enjoying everything summer in Dutchess County has to offer, while lauding the foster parents who give of themselves to benefit these children. Our Department of Community and Family Services works hand-in-hand with these foster parents every day, and today we can celebrate the strides they all undertake to keep families together and provide for our most vulnerable children.”
Foster care provides children, age newborn to 18, with temporary, loving and safe homes when their own families are unable to care for them. Qualifying foster parents become part of a countywide team, working together to support, nurture, and protect children in need. While it may not be a lifetime commitment to a child, it is certainly a commitment to have a meaningful impact on a child’s life.
The DCFS Foster Care Unit is responsible for providing case management and direct services to children in foster family homes and their birth families. The goal for each child is safe, nurturing temporary care with return to family, if possible, or adoption if the family cannot be reunited, or, if neither is possible, preparation for independent living or discharge to another resource.
Children come into care through Child Protective Services, Family Court or by caretakers unable or unwilling to care for their children. A child may be surrendered for adoption at any age prior to 14 (if it is in the child’s best interest to be adopted). Some children are placed with relatives as their foster parents.
“We are grateful for the foster parents throughout Dutchess County who serve as role models to our children who need a safe place to call home,” County Executive Molinaro said. “There remains, though, an urgent need for even more foster parents in our county, responsible men and women who can share not only their home with a child in need, but also their love, guidance, and example. I’d encourage any Dutchess County resident, if possible, to explore the chance to become a foster parent and make a difference in a child’s life.”
More than 300 children are currently in foster care in Dutchess County. There are over 100 certified foster homes available for Dutchess County children, and the County continually recruits and needs more foster parents.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, contact the Department of Community and Family Services at(845) 486-3230.