Raising Awareness In the Southern Tier For Foster Care
The month of May is designated as National Foster Care Month. Tuesday May 2nd was celebrated as National Foster Care Day, which is observed the first Tuesday in May each year.
According to Foster Care with Northern Rivers, the theme for 2023 is focusing on the mental and behavioral health needs of children and youth in foster care. There are over 390,000 children and youth currently in foster care in the United States, with up to 80 percent having significant mental health issues.
Foster Care with Northern Rivers notes that Broome County had 326 children in foster care in 2022. that's up 9 percent from 2021. Unfortunately, the number of foster homes year to year has remained flat.
Foster Care with Northern Rivers maintains a presence in the Binghamton area, and Senior Director, Colleen Vogel notes that they support nearly 40 foster homes and 84 children and youth in foster care in Broome County.
Requests are received on a daily basis looking to place children in safe and supportive foster homes, but the demand for placements exceeds their current capacity.
To help raise awareness, Foster Care with Northern Rivers has partnered with the Ross Park Zoo each weekend in the month of May, with staff on hand to provide information about foster care and becoming foster parents.
Anyone who is interested in learning about becoming a foster parent, contact Foster Care with Northern Rivers at (607) 643-6044.
Northern Rivers is the parent organization of Northeast Parent & Child Society, Parsons Child & Family Center, and Unlimited Potential, serving over 18,000 children, adults, and families throughout New York State.