Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Nassau County 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, Garden City on Thursday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m. Foster and adoptive parents as well as young adults who were in foster care will be part of a panel presentation.
“Children are our most precious resource,” stated County Executive Mangano. “We are always looking for loving and caring people to open their hearts and homes to children who need foster care placement, and recruitment is critically important to accomplish this goal.”
In order to best meet the needs of children entering foster care, DSS recruits parents throughout Nassau County. “It is imperative that we certify a diverse 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 28 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 4 children through DSS. For the children who returned to their families, I am still in contact with many parents who call me for support and advice.”
DSS Commissioner Dr. John Imhof added, “We are very fortunate to have committed and dedicated families to care for children in foster care. It would be impossible to have a foster care program without these parents devoting themselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to our youth.”
In Nassau County there are approximately 240 children in foster care. Children enter foster care and can return to their families on a regular basis, while some children remain with foster families who often want to proceed with formal adoptions. All Nassau County foster homes are certified through the DSS. Foster parents can be single, married, divorced, legally separated or living with a partner and must be 21 years or older.
Anyone interested in fostering children should plan to attend the Recruitment Forum on Thursday, April 17th. For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please contact Sandra Benitez at (516) 227-7613.