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Children's Services Celebrates National Foster Care, Foster Parent Recognition Month

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Children's Services Celebrates National Foster Care, Foster Parent Recognition Month. New Yorkers Encouraged to Make a Difference in the Life of a Child Living in Foster Care.

The Administration for Children's Services today marked the beginning of New York City's annual Foster Parent Recognition Month as well as National Foster Care Month. The commemoration is intended to raise New Yorkers' awareness about foster care, celebrate the many generous New Yorkers who have opened their hearts and homes to children as foster and adoptive parents, recruit new foster and adoptive parents for children who are in need of a home and bring attention to the nearly 17,000 children living in foster care in New York City. This is also a wonderful opportunity for New Yorkers to become involved as foster parents, volunteers, mentors or employers.

"I urge all New Yorkers this month to show support for the entire foster care community," said Commissioner John B. Mattingly. "We
encourage everyone to reach out in some way to a child or a foster family - they need strong networks of support and assistance, as do all families."

To help children and families engaged with ACS, the agency is currently involved in the following initiatives:
•     An $11.5 million reinvestment initiative aimed at helping foster families caring for youth 10 years and older. The funds will be used to stabilize these young people's foster home placements by enhancing supports and training for foster parents.
•     With funding support from the nonprofit support agency New Yorkers For Children, ACS this month is launching the On Track
Employment/Internship Program for youth living in foster care. The 15-week program will give current and former foster youths aged 17 to 23 solid job experience and workplace skills, as well as literacy and self-esteem training. These youth will work in the community and receive a weekly stipend.
•     In celebration of National Foster Care Month on May 23, Children's Services will present the Fifth Annual Golden Heart Awards Gala to honor outstanding individuals and organizations for their commitment to New York City's children and families. Attendees will include Children's Services Commissioner Mattingly, award recipients and special guest speakers, foster parents, representatives from foster care agencies, birth parents, ACS staff and friends of the foster care community.

"Every child deserves loving parents and a family. That's the bottom line," said Barbara Neville, who has been a foster parent to more than 20 young people over the last 20 years. "That's why I do this." Ms. Neville is the adoptive mother of four children and is in the process of adopting two more.
•     For more information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/become_parent/become_parent.shtml.
You'll learn about the process of becoming a foster parent and see photos and biographies of children who are available for adoption. You can also call 212/676-WISH.
•     For more information about becoming a mentor to a young person living in foster care, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/become_mentor/become_mentor.shtml or call the ACS Central Mentoring Office at 212/341-0914.
•     To read stories from New York City adoptive and foster families, visit  http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/become_parent/family_stories.shtml