Westchester County is currently faced with a shortage of homes for foster care children with special needs and Family Services of Westchester (FSW) wants to partner with you so that every child can find a safe, caring, and supportive place to live. Our Therapeutic Foster Care program serves children of all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. These youth are special they may have behavioral, social, or emotional problems but they need homes and the support of loving, nurturing foster parents. Importantly, FSW offers a wide-range of supports for those willing to open their homes, and hearts, to a child in need. These supports ensure that the foster parents who work with us have the tools they need to provide a safe, consistent and structured home environment where a child can develop skills to succeed in the home, school and community.
The shortage of foster homes in Westchester means that children in need are placed in situations far away from their home communities and/or in institutional settings. Neither of which is optimal for the child. By giving a child the chance to grow up in a home and within a community, you can help this child learn how to function in society and how to care for themselves once they are old enough to do so, remarks Dori Lewis, Homefinder and Clinician. There is no doubt that living in a foster home increases the childs chance of success exponentially and FSW is there every step of the way to provide assistance. This includes specialized parent skills training; 24-hour support from our professional staff; weekly home visits by program staff; bi-weekly group support sessions; respite services; and tax free monetary compensation.
Through counseling and the support of their foster parents, the children are encouraged to acquire better self-control and improved social skills. Ultimately, our goal is to strengthen the relationship between birth parents and their children and to assist with reunification where possible or to prepare the child for independent living. By becoming a foster parent, you have an opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the life of a child in need. You will also be amazed by the impact this will have on your own life, says Ms. Lewis.
To learn more about FSWs Therapeutic Foster Care program, please call Dori Lewis at 914-872-5278 or email her at Dlewis@fsw.org. Information sessions are held the first Thursday of every month in our office in White Plains, or you can make an appointment to suit your needs.
FSW was founded in 1954 and runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs for all ages, including Adoption, Head Start/Early Head Start, Adult and Youth Residences and Veterans Outreach and Support.