Finding Families For NY’s Waiting Children

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”  Then the King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:37-40

Children in foster care can be described as the least of these from Matthew 25, and we the Church are those called to minister to them and becoming foster parents is one way we can do that.  There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, and over 20,000 of them are in New York State alone.

This week JFO sat down with Catherine Baxter, LCSW and Supervising Clinician for Foster Care & Adoption for Parsons Child & Family Center in Albany, NY.  Parsons is the largest multi-services agency in New York’s Capital Region dedicated to helping families and their children.  The agency provides counseling services, parenting education, child abuse/neglect prevention and treatment, family strengthening programs, early childhood family support, special education, youth development programs, and mental health services.  Parsons also offers several foster care programs for children in the system.  They are a multi-county agency covering the Capital District area and spreading state wide.

Ms. Baxter shared that the greatest need they have is for foster parents who are willing to care for teenagers and/or sibling groups, especially families living in the more populated areas of Schenectady, Hudson, and Catskill.  The first thing a family needs to do, in order to become certified foster parents, is to complete the MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership Parenting) training classes.  These classes are offered at several locations around the region throughout the year, and sometimes can be facilitated in the family’s home.  In addition to the classes there is paperwork, background checks, and a home study to be completed.

To learn more about how you can minister to the least of these by becoming a foster parent, contact Parsons at 518-426-2868 or visit their website:           parsonscenter.org