Foster Care Services encompasses all activities and functions provided relative to the care of a child away from his home 24 hours per day in a certified foster family boarding home or a certified group home, Agency boarding home, child care institution, health care facility or any combination thereof. To be in Foster Care, a child's care and custody or guardianship and custody has been transferred to the Commissioner of the Department pursuant to Article 3 (Juvenile Delinquent), Article 7 (Person in Need of Supervision) or Article 10 (Abuse and Neglect) of the Family Court Act. Occasionally, a child comes into care on a voluntary basis.
The goal of Foster Care is to achieve permanency for a child. By law our first goal is to reunite children with their families by addressing the reasons the children entered care. A services plan is devised and through diligence of effort a caseworker assists the family in its completion. However, if the family does not complete the services plan or is unable to benefit from services so the children can safely return home, a petition to terminate parental rights is filed in Family Court and permanency is achieved by placing the children in an adoptive home. Consequently, home finding and adoption services are an integral component of Foster Care work. In order to be a foster child a person must be under the age of 18, or be between the ages of 18 and 21 years and entered foster care before his or her 18th birthday and has consented to remain in foster care past his or her 18th birthday and be a student attending a school, college or university, or be regularly attending a course of vocational or technical training designed to fit him or her for gainful employment, or lack the skills or ability to live independently. Many of our foster parents adopt children they have cared for who become freed for adoption. Foster/Adoptive Parent Recruitment is done by a contracted agency working with the Department. Foster parents play an integral part in the provision of services to children. Their willingness to open their homes to children in care assures a safe, temporary, and loving home environment while allowing the children to maintain connections to their families and communities.
Foster Parents are required to participate in MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting), a ten week program. The training is provided by staff of the department and the contracted agency.
The following information has been obtained from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services website.
Foster Care- Children placed in foster care either by order of the Court (involuntary) or because their parent/guardian consents to have them cared for temporarily outside of their home setting (voluntary).
Involuntary placements occur when children are at risk of or have been abused or neglected by a parent/guardian/household member, or because a Court has determined a child to be a "person in need to supervision" or a juvenile delinquent. The Court orders the child removed from the home and determines the length of placement.
Voluntary placements occur when the parent/guardian is temporarily unable to care for the child for reasons other than abuse or neglect.
Adoption-Adoption is a process that creates a binding, legal relationship between a child and parent. Children of all ages are waiting and deserve a loving, committed, safe and permanent family.
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