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Foster Care

Dept. of Community & Family Services (DCFS)
Sabrina Jaar Marzouka, Commissioner

 

The Foster Care Unit is responsible for providing case management and direct services to children in foster family homes and their birth families.

Foster Care Case Managers counsel birth parents of children about their need for treatment for drug or alcohol addiction; sexual abuse; emotional disturbance; physical, mental, housing and employment problems and lack of knowledge of child development and parenting techniques.

Workers develop child and family service plans and regularly appear in Family Court. 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, and then preparation for independent living or discharge to another resource.

Children are placed either by 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.

There are currently over 100 certified foster homes available for Dutchess County children and we continually recruit and need more foster parents. There is a foster parent liaison who assists in sharing information with foster parents and addresses foster parents’ needs and concerns. The foster parent liaison is Ellen Gander, who can be reached at (845) 486-3069.

Click Here to send us an E-mail requesting additional information about becoming a foster parent.

Telephone:  (845) 486-3230
Fax:  (845) 486-3238

 


 


 

Open Your Heart ...

Open Your Hme

BECOME A FOSTER PARENT
AND
MAKE A DIFFERENCE

 


 

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.

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WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT?

 Attend one of our monthly Orientation Meetings

 Complete and return the Agency’s Registration Form

 Attend a 10-week Foster/Adoptive Parent training program

 Have a Home Study completed by our agency

 Provide medical statement and personal/school references

 Sign Release of Information forms for other agencies


BASIC REQUIREMENTS

 Attend one of our monthly Orientation Meetings

 You must be at least 21 years old

 You can be married, single, or living in partnership.

 Have your own source of income (job, public assistance, or Social Security)

 Have a bed for each child

 Have working smoke detectors

 Provide a safe and healthy home

 Each person in the home 18 years or older must be fingerprinted

 Each person in the home 18 years or older must be cleared through the Child Abuse Registry
 

TRAINING AND SUPPORTS PROVIDED TO FOSTER PARENTS

 A stipend for food, clothing, and board, based on the child’s age and need for special services

 Medicaid for the child

 Payment for daycare for working parents

 Support from individual caseworker

 Ongoing training to learn about caring for children in foster care

 A Foster Parent Liaison to provide support and assistance


WHO ARE THE CHILDREN WHO COME INTO FOSTER CARE?

 They are between the ages of newborn and 18

 They can be any ethnicity

 They are from Dutchess County

 They have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, or they were voluntarily placed by their parents

 They may have special physical and/or emotional needs

 They may be very intelligent or need special schooling

 They may be a single child or be with their siblings


BE PART OF A TEAM

 Foster Parents are expected to work with our agency to help provide a temporary, safe home for children while their parents work towards the return of their children. During that time the Foster Parents act as substitute parents to the children.

 Foster Parents are expected to treat the children as they would their own children, by taking the children to doctor and therapy appointments, attend school meetings, and provide love, guidance, and nurturing to the children.
 

OUR GREATEST NEEDS

 Foster Parents who will accept teenagers into their homes and be strong role models for them. Teens need someone to give them guidance to learn to live independently, as well as the support of a loving family for the rest of their lives.

 Foster Parents who will accept sibling groups. Children who are placed in foster care have to leave behind many of the people who make them feel comfortable and safe. Children who can be placed with a brother or sister can at least maintain one important relationship.

 Foster Parents who are ethnically diverse. Children come from various ethnic backgrounds. Not all children speak English as their first language.

 

Adult and Child graphic

Call
Dutchess County
Department of Community and Family Services
(845) 486-3069
or
(845) 486-3071

 

Click Here to view the pdf version of this brochure.

To send us an E-Mail requesting additional information about becoming a foster parent, please Click Here.

 


 

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