By Lori Nadeau
As a foster parent recruiter/homefinder for Northern Rivers Family of Services, I travel throughout Warren, Washington, Saratoga and Essex Counties talking to people every day about opening their homes to children in need.
You may have seen me or a member of my team at a county fair or community event. We’re the ones at the Give Hope a Home table. And the number one thing I’ve learned from meeting so many friends and neighbors is that not everyone understands exactly what foster care is and how they can help.
There are times when the only safe option for a child is removal from their home. Reasons can vary from abuse and neglect, lack of proper housing or other challenges. Regardless of the reasons a child may enter foster care, the system has two goals: Keep the child in a warm, safe, loving place in their own community where he or she can heal and grow; and to work towards reunification and achieve permanency in the families’ life.
Northern Rivers serves 14,000 children and families in 36 counties as the parent organization to Parsons Child & Family Center and Northeast Parent & Child Society, and my team is headquartered on Quaker Road in Queensbury.
Give Hope a Home is our foster parent recruitment campaign, designed to help you understand what it means to be a foster parent.
There’s no such thing as a typical foster child. Children under our care are newborns, school-aged children or teenagers and older. Each has faced a unique set of challenges, including abuse, neglect, trauma, emotional disturbances and behavioral issues. Placements may last a few months or up to a year or more. Our goal is always to find a permanent living situation for the child, whether it’s back with the birth family, a relative or an adoptive family.
There are numerous ways you can open your home and heart to welcome children in need of a safe and loving home. You can Give Hope a Home for a few hours or a weekend as a respite parent, or you can serve as a full-time foster home.
Here are a few of the options we offer: Foster care, overnight respite, hourly respite and bridge families.
No matter who you are or what your situation may be, there’s a way for you to Give Hope a Home and we’re with you every step of the way. We help you find the right fit for you and your family, and we make sure that we connect you with a child that has the best chance of success in your home.
From the very first day, we provide you with in-home support, comprehensive training and a team that’s available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We support more than 250 foster families each year, and no two are exactly alike. What they do have in common is the desire to help a child in our own community stay connected and find the stability, permanency and happiness they all deserve.
If you are interested in providing a loving, stable and supportive home for abused and neglected children in our community, please visit www.givehopeahomeny.org or call 844-855-CARE. We take the time to listen and get to know you, and we’ll answer any questions you might have.
Make the call, and open your door to a child who needs your help. Give Hope a Home.
For more information on the organization, log on to www.northernrivers.org.
Nadeau is a recruiter/homefinder for Northern Rivers Family of Services, the Capital Region organization that oversees the Northeast Parent & Child Society and Parsons Child & Family Center.