Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Department of Social Services (DSS) will be hosting a Foster and Adoptive Recruitment Forum at the Long Island Children’s Museum, located at 11 Davis Avenue in Garden City, on Thursday, October 20th at 6:00 p.m. Foster and adoptive parents as well as young adults who were in foster care will be part of a panel presentation. In order to best meet the needs of children entering foster care, DSS recruits’ parents throughout Nassau County.
“Children are our most precious resource,” stated County Executive Mangano. “Nassau County continues to seek out loving and caring people to open their hearts and homes to children who need foster care placement, and recruitment is critically important to accomplishing this goal.”
“It is imperative that we certify a large group of foster families to accommodate the cultural diversities of the children who enter foster care in our communities,” explained Maria Lauria, Director of Children’s Services.
“Becoming a foster parent can be very rewarding,” stated Betty Shands, Vice President of the Foster and Adoptive Parents’ Association of Nassau County. “I have been a foster and adoptive parent for more than 30 years and have had over 70 children placed in my home during that time. While the vast majority of the children returned to their parents or relatives, I have adopted four beautiful children through DSS. For those children who returned to their families, I am still in contact with many parents who call me for support and advice.”
“The County’s foster care program would be impossible without loving foster parents devoting themselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to our youth,” added DSS Commissioner Dr. John Imhof. “Their dedication to our families is tremendous.”
In Nassau County there are currently 207 children in foster care. While children enter foster care and can return to their families on a regular basis, some children remain with foster families who often decide to proceed with formal adoptions. All Nassau County foster homes are certified through DSS, and foster parents are considered without regard to marital status, race, ethnicity, community of origin, culture, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity and must be 21 years or older. Foster parents receive a stipend for children placed in their home and receive ongoing supportive services from trained casework staff.
Residents interested in fostering children should plan to attend the Recruitment Forum on Thursday, October 20th. For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please contact Sandra Benitez at (516) 227-7613.