Fostering Futures NY

Fostering Futures NY FFNY recruits and trains volunteer teams who provide practical support to enhance foster parents capacity to provide safe, stable, consistent and nurturing homes for children.

FFNY is a program administered by Welfare Research Inc. FFNY recruits and trains teams of volunteers from community organizations to provide support to foster families in building better futures for children and youth. Foster parents have a significant impact on the lives of children in foster care but often do not have the full support they need. Absent supports, foster parents often “burn out” and give up on fostering which forces children in their care to be moved. This creates further trauma and adds to the instability already present in their lives. Our teams support foster families in their task of providing a safe, stable, nurturing environment for children and helping them begin to heal from the trauma. The foster homes supported by FFNY teams are those that serve a critical subset of children in foster care – those for whom the child welfare community has the greatest difficulty finding appropriate homes. These are older adolescents, sibling groups, and children with significant medical, emotional or behavioral issues. These children are often placed in the first available home as opposed to the home who can best meet the specific needs of an individual child. This significantly increases the likelihood that children will bounce from home to home. Over time the volunteers on the team becomes an “extended family” for the foster parents and children. They help with tasks requested by the foster parents (e.g. transportation, tutoring, meals, outings, and child care). As trust builds, the relationship grows and foster parents are less isolated. The children see and feel differences of calmness, stability, and a nurturing environment within the household. Foster parents feel supported and are more likely to continue to foster. These changes are the beginning of healing. Fostering Futures NY (FFNY) supports foster families by providing a support system, which ultimately acts as “extended family”. We recruit our volunteer team members of from the community. The volunteers then undergo a comprehensive background check and participate in our training. Once trained, we match our teams with a foster family referred from a local department of social services or non-profit children’s agency. Team members can prepare meals, provide homework help, fold laundry, read to children or simply lend an ear. Sometimes the most important thing our teams do is also the simplest: listen. Foster parents often experience aspects of their parenting journey that they never imagined. They may just need a supportive and listening ear as they navigate the unique needs, challenges and victories of their foster children, as they pursue connection and healing. As a foster parent there are many little things that could be done that would make a huge difference. For instance, offering to run an errand, take one of the children to a soccer practice or dropping off dry cleaning. There are so many possibilities. There are numerous appointments that come with foster care (doctor, dentist, therapist, school), in addition to all the visitors that come see the children each month (CASA, law guardian, caseworker, agency worker). So while foster families may seem like the average family, there are so many household tasks that can easily slip through the cracks in the chaos. An offer to come help clean out a garage, repair a fence, organize a closet, or even fold laundry would be such a blessing for a foster family. All children benefit from a positive adult presence in their lives and need relationships that say “you are special.” Our volunteers help with homework, play games and celebrate special occasions such as birthdays or a good school report card. Their role often becomes one of an “aunt” or “uncle”. As you can imagine, our foster families appreciate an extra pair of hands when they go somewhere challenging – such as a playground or amusement park. A big family or one with special needs really appreciates just an extra adult along.

Mission: Supporting foster families in building better futures for children and youth

“... not a day goes by I don’t look through my dark circled eyes at this beautiful mess and know I am right where I need...
01/28/2020
‘I have 2 bio kids, 2 adopted, 3 special needs foster children. I wanted nothing to do with the ‘white picket’ American Dream.’: Special needs mom cherishes the ‘beautiful chaos’ of ‘meeting the needs of others’

“... not a day goes by I don’t look through my dark circled eyes at this beautiful mess and know I am right where I need to be. “ ❤️ #fostering

"'Your baby has a large mass. Prepare for the worst.' I was learning how to be married, live in a city where we knew no one, being first-time teachers and parents to a baby who may or may not be okay. The older, wiser folks warned us to slow down. And yet none of this chaos ever silenced the call we...

“....most children who are adopted or enter foster care, no matter how young, have traumatic histories.” #FFNY #fosterin...
01/10/2020
'Traditional parenting is not going to work'

“....most children who are adopted or enter foster care, no matter how young, have traumatic histories.” #FFNY #fostering #support ❤️

Adoptive parents and foster parents learn they need a new approach to nurture children who have experienced trauma.

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
01/06/2020
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

"When the argument about who 'deserves' financial assistance in order to eat — something we must all do to live — is framed as 'lazy slacker living off the system' versus the 'deserving poor,' we forget all the invisible people in the middle of this spectrum of stereotypes: the teacher who has a second job just to make ends meet, the newspaper reporter with an overdrawn bank account, or the social work intern who only got a decent winter coat because her friends and synagogue raised the money." This Vox op-ed by a University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student outlines how the forthcoming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program rule change could impact young professionals, including those who work to help the poor.

❤️This is foster care #FFNY
12/16/2019

❤️This is foster care #FFNY

“I could never do foster care they tell me. I’d get too attached. Well, then you might just make the best foster parent of all.
We’ve only had baby Brave with us for less than two weeks, and I’ve fallen hard. Some may say, too hard. Too fast. I say, isn’t that what every child deserves? To be loved unconditionally, outrageously, radically over the top, love sweet love. To know they are safe and important. Just as important as our biological children.
We have the choice here to stand in the gap. To be there for them when no one else can be. So if it’s calling you, pursue it. If not, support it.” Abigail Rain

#fostercare #fosterlove #togetherwerise #thisisfostercare

FFNY is expanding through NYS! Excited to be working with #Improvenorwichnow and Chenango County DSS to support local fo...
11/20/2019

FFNY is expanding through NYS! Excited to be working with #Improvenorwichnow and Chenango County DSS to support local foster families and children in care.

We are very excited to take steps toward developing our first Fostering Futures volunteer team. To learn more about this program designed to support foster families, please reach out. A special thanks to our trainer, Meredith Osta, Chenango County DSS, and our very own coordinator, Cathy Albrecht.

11/01/2019
Good Morning America

❤ this! Cultural identity is so important for all children. #fostercare

Nonprofit provides adoptive parents with 'hair care education.' "She made me a better mom, equipping me in a way I just wasn't before." https://gma.abc/2YRcnF4

Give a foster family a chicken dinner & they have more time to spend with the children. FFNY volunteers give families ch...
10/16/2019
If You Give a Foster Family a Chicken Dinner - Her View From Home

Give a foster family a chicken dinner & they have more time to spend with the children. FFNY volunteers give families chicken dinners and so much more ❤

If you give a foster family a chicken dinner, They might have extra time to spend with their foster child. When they have extra time to spend with their foster child, They’ll spend it taking a walk, looking at flowers. When they spend it on a walk looking at flowers, They learn more about each …

10/08/2019
Roma Downey

"If I'm your Dad, I'm your Dad forever "❤️ while fostering may be temporary, this father's love for the children in his home is forever.

Blessing to this foster dad. He's provided a home to over 50 young men.

September is Kinship Care month ❤ We celebrate family members caring for kin. The  Kinship Navigator provides statewide ...
09/19/2019

September is Kinship Care month ❤ We celebrate family members caring for kin. The Kinship Navigator provides statewide info and resources.

The 5th annual Kinship Care Month Celebration is about to begin!

With the support of family (birth, foster, kin or adopted) the sky is the limit! 🏈 #fostercare #NFL
09/10/2019
From foster homes to the 53-man roster

With the support of family (birth, foster, kin or adopted) the sky is the limit! 🏈 #fostercare #NFL

Tuzar Skipper has overcome all the odds thanks to his never quit mentality

Back to school is an exciting time for most children.  For  children in foster care it can be...daunting...new school wi...
09/03/2019

Back to school is an exciting time for most children. For children in foster care it can be...daunting...new school with a different family. Thankful for amazing foster parents who provide love, support and stability.

Imagine walking into your first day at a new school, anxious about making friends and doing well in class, but worried that your life could be uprooted at any moment. That is the cruel reality for thousands of children in foster care who are starting school this fall without a permanent home.

Latrell moved numerous times during his eight years in foster care. In 2017, he was adopted through the Foundation's Wendy's Wonderful Kids program. “When he came to us, he was nearly failing,” says Latrell's mom, Sadie. “Today, he has a 3.5 GPA. He is now confident. It has been amazing to watch him blossom and develop a sense of self.”

You can help give children in foster care, like Latrell, a family they can count on — on the first day of school and every day after. Get involved at davethomasfoundation.org #Adoption #FosterCareAdoption #FosterCare #BacktoSchool

08/08/2019
HeartThreads

FFNY supports foster parents because they make an impact on the lives of children and their families ❤ reunification

#TBT From this week last year.

When Jessica’s children were taken from her, Ruth and Steve didn’t just foster them. They helped Jessica get on track and foster became family.

Be that champion for a child ❤ #fosterparents #volunteers
07/09/2019

Be that champion for a child ❤ #fosterparents
#volunteers

The Anne Casey Foundation released the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, an essential tool for those working to improve circums...
06/21/2019
2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The Anne Casey Foundation released the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, an essential tool for those working to improve circumstances for children in the United States. The stats in this book provide a baseline for measuring how children are doing in the U.S., giving a comparison from 2010 to the present, revealing, with no surprise, that there is much more work to be done!

'CHILDREN IN POVERTY is the percentage of children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below 100 percent of the U.S. poverty threshold, as defined each year by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2017, a family of two adults and two children lived in poverty if their annual income fell below $24,858. Poverty status is not determined for people living in group quarters (such as military barracks, prisons and other institutional quarters) or for unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as children in foster care). The data are based on income received in the 12 months prior to the survey.'

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

The Data Book ranks each state on child well-being.

Foster parents..."They say yes to children who need a home. They say yes to more sleepless nights, parent-teacher confer...
06/17/2019
‘Would you be willing to take him home?’ He was the tiniest baby boy I’d ever held. My husband’s wedding ring could go up above his knee. Two days earlier, we’d gotten a phone call.’

Foster parents..."They say yes to children who need a home. They say yes to more sleepless nights, parent-teacher conferences, & soccer games. They say yes to meetings, & parent visits, & homestudies, &, sometimes: heartbreak."

"My husband and I rode an elevator up to the NICU. I told him I might need to throw up in the fake plant I saw as the doors opened. We had three kids at the time-- 3-year-old twin boys and a 7-month-old baby girl. HOW CRAZY CAN WE BE!? We are insane."

Grateful to #CathyCave, Co-founder of Inspired Vision, LLC for donating her time to facilitate an amazing in-service on ...
06/05/2019

Grateful to #CathyCave, Co-founder of Inspired Vision, LLC for donating her time to facilitate an amazing in-service on Culture Matters for families involved with foster care. 💗

We are so grateful to have amazing community partners like Life.Church Albany! They hand delivered this morning surprise...
05/30/2019

We are so grateful to have amazing community partners like Life.Church Albany! They hand delivered this morning surprise to us. 💗

'“We want foster parents and providers to hear that what they do matters — they have the enormous job of building and re...
05/22/2019
‘Sesame Street’ welcomes a Muppet in foster care, the latest addition to its inclusive cast

'“We want foster parents and providers to hear that what they do matters — they have the enormous job of building and rebuilding family structures and children’s sense of safety,” Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of social impact at Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. “By giving the adults in children’s lives the tools they need — with help from the ‘Sesame Street’ Muppets — we can help both grown-ups and children feel seen and heard and give them a sense of hope for the future...

Sesame Workshop noted in a release that in 2017, nearly 443,000 children spent time in foster care — a statistic that translates to 6 out of every 1,000 children in the United States.

Karli, a green Muppet with fluffy pigtails, is introduced in an online-only clip called “On Your Team,” in which Dalia and Clem chat with their old friend, Elmo’s father, about becoming foster parents: “Changes like this can be really rough for kids — and for adults, too,” Clem acknowledges. Dalia notes that the experience has “had its ups and downs. But no matter what, we try to let Karli know, we are always here for her.” She then invites Elmo to Pizza Party Tuesday, a new family tradition.'

#fosterparents #sesamestreet #whatyoudomatters #fosterchildrenmatter

Welfare Research, Inc., Sesame Workshop , New York State Citizen Review Panels for Child Protective Services

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2019/05/20/sesame-street-welcomes-muppet-foster-care-latest-addition-its-inclusive-cast/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a1a8c0c4525e

Karli was introduced online as part of an initiative to provide free resources to caregivers navigating difficult issues.

May is National Foster Care Month! Find resources, real life stories, and tools to help spread awareness about how the c...
05/15/2019
National Foster Care Month 2019

May is National Foster Care Month! Find resources, real life stories, and tools to help spread awareness about how the child welfare system can support families! http://ow.ly/suLc50u1NVG

May is National Foster Care Month. Visit our site to find resources, real life stories, community engagement information, and tools to help spread awareness about how the child welfare system can support and strengthen families.

May Is National Foster Care Month.  It's a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of chil...
05/08/2019

May Is National Foster Care Month. It's a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care.

Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, shares an important message to guide the critical work be...
05/07/2019
CB - National Foster Care Month 2019

Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, shares an important message to guide the critical work being done by foster care specialists, foster and kinship caregivers, and community partners across the country:

“National Foster Care Month 2019 Children's Bureau Message”
An increasing number of children are entering foster care every year due to a complex mix of factors that may include the parent’s use of opioids, family financial hardship, mental health disorders, or domestic violence. Most of the time, it doesn't mean the children are unloved. It means their families need help. Foster care plays a pivotal role in helping put families back together. It can never and should never replace families.
...
To give families involved with foster care a fighting chance, we need to consider seriously recruiting foster parents who see their primary job as supporting and mentoring the birth family in addition to ensuring that children have a safe and nurturing place to live. #nationalfostercaremonth

http://ow.ly/RuKX50u26oM

This year's National Foster Care Month theme prioritizes foster care as a service to families—not a substitute for parents—and highlights the prime opportunity it creates when community resources and partnerships are maximized to increase child and family well-being and the likelihood of success...

04/29/2019
Good Morning America

Foster parents adopt 7 siblings! ❤️"They'd been through so much.They didn't need to lose each other."

REUNITED: Couple adopts a set of seven brothers and sisters together after being separated for over a year in foster care: "They didn't need to lose each other." ❤️https://gma.abc/2UAVyNz

With the love & support of family, anything is possible. Kinship care = critical connection to family.  #importanceoffam...
04/17/2019
Simone Biles: I went from foster care to the Olympics

With the love & support of family, anything is possible. Kinship care = critical connection to family. #importanceoffamily #fostering #family ❤️

Simone Biles says she was lucky enough, despite her early encounter with the foster-care system, to have the support to succeed in life. Now she is intent on paying it forward.

Fostering Futures NY's cover photo
03/21/2019

Fostering Futures NY's cover photo

03/20/2019
Stewart's Shops

FFNY is thankful to Stewart's Shops Holiday Match Program & everyone who generously donated! This grant will help to support local children in foster care and the families who care for them. www.stewartsshops.com/community-giving

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift delivery of your Holiday Match checks!

That's right, Stewart's Holiday Match checks are in the mail! Our generous customers donated over $1.03M in spare change and Stewart's Shops matched that for a record total of $2.06M- all going to organizations that benefit children! A listing of the organizations receiving funds is available at https://www.stewartsshops.com/charities-receiving-funds-from-stewarts-2017-2018-holiday-match/

"We are now proud parents of 4 beautiful babies all from different pasts, but will all have the same future. Our main go...
03/19/2019
‘They called for another baby!’ Henry and his twin brother were born micro preemies. Sadly, his twin passed away. Henry was put into foster care. I stood there staring at the message.’

"We are now proud parents of 4 beautiful babies all from different pasts, but will all have the same future. Our main goal in life is to make sure every single day of their lives they will know they are loved and cherished." ❤️ #fostering
#FFNY

"We got the call when he 10 months old. At the time, my husband and I were fostering a baby girl suffering from shaken baby syndrome. We had already adopted 3 children, all who have special needs. I waited for my husband to get home and met him at the door."

Keeping siblings together in foster care is critical.  Thank you to all those who open their hearts and homes. #FFNY#fos...
03/04/2019
‘We are trying to place a sibling set of 3 children,’ she began. ‘Three??,’ I interrupted. There was no way we could take in 3 children!’ ​

Keeping siblings together in foster care is critical. Thank you to all those who open their hearts and homes. #FFNY
#fostering #volunteers

"The call came when I least expected it. As I stepped into the back hallway of the trauma bay and answered the unknown number, I had no idea our lives were about to change forever. I listened to the heartbreaking story of how these 3 toddlers under the age of 5 had come into foster care. It was then...

Our volunteers support foster families and let children in foster care know that they are  special and loved 💕
02/12/2019

Our volunteers support foster families and let children in foster care know that they are special and loved 💕

Thank you to all those who choose to foster and to love. 💕
01/29/2019

Thank you to all those who choose to foster and to love. 💕

She was part of their family and lives for 227 days and then they said goodbye. #thefosteringjourney
01/08/2019
‘Twenty days. It’s all I have left with my beautiful baby girl.’

She was part of their family and lives for 227 days and then they said goodbye. #thefosteringjourney

"How do I tell my three boys, whom have formed an incredible bond with her, that their baby sister is leaving? And when? When do I share this news? Do I wait until there’s only a few days left?"

12/26/2018
Fostering Futures NY Volunteers Make a Difference

Ever wonder what our volunteers and foster families have to say about FFNY? Please meet some of our amazing volunteers and a foster parent in this video to hear more. #powerofcommunity

Welfare Research, Inc. manages an innovative program, Fostering Futures NY, that pairs teams of volunteers from community organizations with area foster fami...

12/24/2018

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Welfare Research Inc., 14 Columbia Cir, Ste 104
Albany, NY
12203

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Fostering Futures NY (FFNY), a program of Welfare Research, Inc., recruits and trains small teams of volunteers from the community to offer practical supports to foster families. Serving as an extended family for foster parents and children, the teams provide stability, enriching experiences, and vital community connections. For more information about our program, visit our website at: welfareresearch.org/ffny.html

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Comments

Our daughter couldn't get enough of sewing camp, so one of our volunteers brought it home to us 💝
I can't say enough about having this group of women in our children's lives! They volunteer as a part of Fostering Futures- a group to come alongside foster parents and help, and that is exactly what they have done for us over the past year and a half. They pick up kids from school when we are in a bind, they brought our kids to nearly EVERY baseball and softball game last season when I was down and out with major surgery so Bob could take care of me and I could take care of myself. They have sent birthday cards for each birthday or even driven our kids to meet us at doctors appointments so we have less travel time. These pictures are from a couple weekends ago- one of the women wanted to get our garden up and running with the kids so she brought the garden to us! The kids planted seeds, they heard the parable about the seeds falling on different ground from the Bible. Then they "planned" for the garden by cutting pictures out of magazines and making posters followed by actual planting of all the seeds so we could start them inside. Back in December, these women took all 10 of the kids out to make cookies for Christmas at the one women's pie shop and gave us the afternoon completely off. We are blessed for sure and the kids are all the better for the role these women have in our lives. Thank you to our Fostering Futures group! And thank you for sticking with our busy crew, even after our foster care days came to an end. We are grateful.