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
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.
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
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.
Department of Community and Family Services
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.