Warren County needs more foster families than ever before

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Warren County’s Social Services department said despite recent local outreach, they still don’t have enough foster families to fill the need.

There will always be a need for foster families, but long-time employees with Social Services said it’s almost become dire.

“It’s probably bordering on that. Yes. It’s very difficult,” Maureen Taylor, a foster care supervisor, said.

“It’s very hard to take a child into your home when it’s not your child,” Rachael DuRose said, a case manager and home finder, said.

DuRose and Taylor have over 40 years of combined experience with Warren County.

There are 39 kids in foster care in the county and only 18 foster homes. It does not leave any wiggle room, they said.

“It is a bit of a stretch. I think it’s important to remember all of those kids come in with different needs, and they all have a different set of skills that we have to match to foster parents and/or agencies or residential placements,” DuRose said.

“We have a lot of kids who are coming in with a lot of trauma, a lot of behaviors, and finding homes that we currently have open that are willing to try is difficult,” Taylor said.

DuRose and Taylor said some factors that may explain why fewer people are willing to foster recently are because:

1.) The desire to adopt is much larger now

“To those folks, I would say, take a chance. You never know, we could place a child in a foster home today, and an adoption could happen in a year from now, and maybe it won’t,” DuRose said.

2.) Legislation is changing to have more children reunite with their birth families

“You’re going to grow to love that child, but the purpose of foster care is reunification. You’re going to, at some point, have to say goodbye to that child. Hopefully, you’ve formed a relationship with the parents, and you can be a continuing resource for them,” Taylor said.

DuRose said they first try to place a child with a relative who is fit to foster. Then, the county will try to go with a foster family. The last resort is to put a child in a residential home, which DuRose says is not often.

“They need to relearn many things children without trauma have learned from their parents. How to attach, how to love, how to care, how to do all the things that children should learn to do, and they need to learn how to be children a lot of the times.”

Warren County is one of many areas that need foster families. This is a state-wide issue.

If you’re interested in fostering in Warren County, contact Rachael DuRose at (518) 761-7650 or Rachael.DuRose@dfa.state.ny.us. You can also contact Sarah Fortini Rowell at (518) 761-6317 or Sarah.Rowell@dfa.state.ny.us.

You can also visit The New York State Office for Children & Family Services website.