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HONESDALE – In honor of National Foster Care Month in May, the Wayne County Commissioners took the time to recognize the valuable services that Foster Families provide to children in the community.
Cindy Batzel, who supervises the Resource Family Support staff at Children & Youth Services, said the Commissioners’ proclamation is an effort to show the community’s appreciation for the work these families do to help care for and encourage the children, and work with their families toward the ultimate goal of reunification.
She explained that it was not long ago that all of the children placed in foster care would have gone to families outside of Wayne County. Now most remain in the community. Of the 30 or so youngsters in foster care, 19 have been placed with local families and 10 of those are staying with family members.
The process for becoming a foster family has grown increasingly complicated, Batzel explained, noting the ultimately goal is permanency – returning home when it is safe and feasible or if parental rights are terminated, adoption. From the outset, foster families are asked about their willingness to adopt.
Although many of the children are infants the foster care system includes youth to age 21.
Commissioner Wendell Kay noted that children used to age out of the system at 18, but the county and state now work harder on the transition. “After all the time, money and resources spent getting them to that point, we hope to bridge that gap better for a successful transition to college, work, etc.,” he said.
Commissioner Joseph Adams said having the ability to keep these children in the community is a huge asset because it enables them to stay in their schools and within the same circle of friends, which is very important.
“Not everyone is cut out to be a foster parent,” Kay explained, “but I don’t know where we would be without them.”
The Proclamation signed May 3, says “Foster, kinship and adoptive families, who open their homes and hearts and support children whose families are in crisis, play a vital role in helping children and families heal and reconnect, thereby launching young people into successful adulthood.”
If you have room in your heart and room in your home, and would consider becoming a foster parent, call Wayne County Children & Youth Services at 570-253-5102.
Pictured with the Foster Care Month proclamation are, seated from left, Cindy Batzel, Britt Radu, Cheryl Fay and Kimberly Marcyoniak. Standing are Commissioner Wendell Kay, Human Services Administrator Andy Whyte, Bonnie LaTourette with Liam LaTourette, and Commissioner Joseph Adams.