Foster Care Parents needed in Clinton County

Mar. 18—PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County is in need of Foster Parents as more and more adolescents, children and their families are in need of support.

"We have a shortage of Foster Parents," Lorene Easter, social welfare examiner, Foster Care/Home Finding Unit, said.

"We are in need of Foster Parents for children of all ages, particularly to foster children or provide respite care to children. Fostering is more of a longtime commitment. It could be just a week or so, but it could also be quite a while."

With Respite Care, the agency looks for Foster Parents to provide Respite Care for Foster Parents that are going on vacation or Preventive Families that need someone to provide respite just to give them a break.

"Say they're having troubles with their teens or whatever, then we'll try to find somewhere for them to go a weekend a month or a couple of weekends a month just to give each other a break and try to work things out," she said.

"Respite care is more short term. We have a Foster Care Unit, and we have a Preventive Unit. The Preventive Unit is just what it is, try to keep families together so children don't come into Foster Care. So sometimes, we authorize a respite of time to help the families to work through their problems. Give the child break. Give the parents a break."

Currently, there are 83 children in Foster Care and 77 Foster homes.

"But some of those homes are on hold," Easter said.

"They wouldn't necessarily be taking children right now for various reasons depending upon their own home life and everything. Sometimes, they can't take a child for a certain period of time, so they go on hold. We may have 77, but to say they're active? They're not all active. We do authorize or give a room and board stipend. We will also pay daycare fees. We will help to pay for diapers. So there is a financial stipend attached to it."

An Orientation and Informational Meeting for prospective Foster/Adoptive and Respite Parents will be held from 6 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 at the Clinton County Department of Social Services, 13 Durkee St. Plattsburgh.

All are welcome, and there is no commitment.

Clinton County Department of Social Services Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) training will be Tuesday, April 25 for prospective Foster/Adoptive and respite parents. Please call, 518-565-3320 to confirm attendance or to obtain more information.

"April 18 is the Orientation with classes starting the next week," Easter said.

"The classes go for 10 weeks. It's a very interactive training. We have a lot of very good information and real-life situations that we talk about and everything to prepare someone to provide Foster Care services."

Due to COVID restrictions, the Department of Social Services is requesting interested parties call 518-565-3320 to confirm attendance as space is limited to maintain social distance.