Baker-Polito Administration Announces Statewide Foster Parent Recruitment Events
(BOSTON) - May is National Foster Care Month and the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Children and Families are raising awareness about the need for loving and safe homes for children by supporting free recruitment events across Massachusetts in May and June.
Foster parents are vital to DCF’s efforts to keep children safe by providing a supportive and healing environment. DCF strives to build a large, diverse community of foster parents so there are always safe homes for children in the cities and towns where they live and go to school.
Beginning Saturday, May 14 at Kimball Farm in Westford, the recruitment events will include information sessions and opportunities to speak with current foster parents and DCF social workers. On Sunday, May 15, prospective foster parents are invited to the Worcester Ecotarium and YMCAs in Plymouth, New Bedford, Brockton, Middleboro, Waltham, Fall River and Taunton. In Boston and Westfield, events are scheduled for Saturday, June 4 at Franklin Park and Saturday, June 25 at the Westfield Boys and Girls Club. All recruitment events are child-friendly and will include free food, activities and entertainment.
“DCF foster parents are true heroes, opening their hearts and their homes to children enduring the most traumatic of life circumstances. They provide them with a nurturing environment, where they are safe and can begin to heal,” said DCF Commissioner, Linda S. Spears. “We are incredibly grateful to all foster parents who step up and work with DCF to support these vulnerable children, whether that is working on reunification with their parents or preparing them for adoption.”
In addition to traditional foster homes, there are opportunities to provide short-term care to children who are taken into custody after hours or on weekends or holidays. In these emergency placements, children stay in the home until the next business day when DCF workers are able to secure longer term arrangements. There is also a need for respite families who can house children for one or more nights when foster parents go out of town.
“Regardless of the time commitment, any foster parenting role makes a difference,” says Kristen Conden, a DCF social worker. “What foster children need is someone to care enough to listen to them read a homework book, tie their shoelaces and let them know they are in a place where they can finally relax and just be a child.”
To learn more about foster parenting in Massachusetts call 1-800-KIDS-508 or visit https://blog.mass.gov/blog/home/becoming-a-foster-parent-in-massachusetts-2/.
DCF Foster Care Recruitment Events by Region:
Sat., May 14, 2016
10 a.m. – 2p.m.
400 Littleton Road (Route 110)
Sun., May 15, 2016
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
222 Harrington Way
Sun., May, 15 2016
Noon – 3 p.m. (Multiple YMCA locations)
Locations listed below with an asterisk* will be offering attendees special events in addition to information sharing. Please contact your desired YMCA location listed below for full event details.
Brockton Branch*, 320 Main St., 508-583-2155
Middleboro Branch*, 61 E. Grove St., 508-947-1390
Plymouth Branch*, 2 Greenside Way South, 508-927-3100
Taunton Branch*, 71 Conhanet St., 508-823-3320
New Bedford Branch*, 25 South Water St., 508-997-0734
Fall River Branch*, 199 N. Main St., 508-675-7841
YMCA Cape Cod*, 2245 Iannough Road, West Barnstable, 508-362-6500
Easton Branch, 25 Elm St., North Easton, 508-238-9758
E. Bridgewater Branch, 635 Plymouth St., 508-378-3913
Stoughton Branch, 445 Central St., 781-341-2016
Saturday, June 4 2016
Noon – 2:30 p.m.
Playstead Park Picnic Area
1 Franklin Park Road
Saturday, June 25
Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Greater Westfield
28 West Silver Street