Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz recently joined Erie County Department of Social Services Commissioner Marie Cannon and foster care advocates to celebrate National Foster Care Month. Poloncarz recognized the effort of three agencies that have worked to support children in foster care and foster families. Cannon discussed the need for additional foster families in the community.
"Every child deserves a stable, loving home, and our community is fortunate to have so many in our community willing to foster. However, it is also important to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care, even if we are not in a position to foster ourselves,” Poloncarz said. “There are several organizations in our community who help children in foster care and foster families. I urge Erie County residents to consider supporting these important organizations.”
Care Cases of Western New York provide high-quality duffle bags for foster children in Western New York that are filled with new items to meet their needs, such as a fleece blanket, stuffed animal, toothbrush/toothpaste, T-shirt, diapers, toiletries, coloring book/crayons, journal/pens, age-appropriate book and/or pajamas. The goal is to provide children in foster care with something of value that they can call their own when they are going through such a traumatic change. Individuals interested in donating can visit http://www.carecases.org.
Foster Love Closet collects new and gently used infant, child and teen-related items to give to those currently in foster care. Among the items provided are clothing, shoes, strollers, high-chairs, bedding, bottles and cups, car seats, cribs, toddler and twin beds. Foster families and children in foster care can pick what they want and are allowed a week's worth of clothing, along with pajamas and extras such as accessories, coats and shoes. They can shop four times a year or when new children are placed in a home.
Foster Love Closet is located at 1159 Town Line Road in Alden. Individuals interested in donating or volunteering can visit www.fosterlovecloset.com.
Western New York Foster & Adoptive Families Association works to improve the future of children in care by establishing and improving communication between foster and adoptive parents and all community systems; promoting continuing education for foster and adoptive parents in the community; and educating the community about child welfare issues. All foster, adoptive, kinship, birth parents have access to the association for issues or concerns for which they may need assistance. Information about this association can be found at www.wnyfafa.org.
Commissioner of Social Services Marie Cannon added, “Erie County has a critical need for supportive foster families to temporarily provide hundreds of our most vulnerable children with stable, nurturing homes. Foster families are individuals or couples who have a desire to make a lasting positive impact on the lives of children. If any Erie County resident interested in obtaining information about becoming a foster family, please call us with questions at 858-7274.”