By Jessica Lyons (The Queens Courier)
September 20, 2007
During Family Fun Day in Manhattan on Saturday, September 15, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) celebrated reunions between children who had been in foster care and their parents and relatives.
“Today, we are celebrating the love, dedication and commitment demonstrated by many families who have dealt with serious problems, such as drug abuse, domestic violence, mental health conditions, lack of housing and other issues,” said ACS Commissioner John B. Mattingly. “It often takes great courage and resolve for parents to overcome these situations - to rehabilitate and reform their lives so they can once again have safe, nurturing relationships with their kids.”
From 2005 to the present, more than 9,367 children who had been in the foster care system have rejoined their parents and relatives. About another 13,000 families considered to be at risk are currently being assisted by ACS, which makes services available to them in order to “prevent the need for foster care placements.”
“Our first duty here at Children’s Services is to protect the children of this city from abuse and neglect,” Mattingly said. “The best way to accomplish this vitally important task is to ensure that children have strong families to care for them.”
This year marked the third time that ACS’s Office of Advocacy and the Parent Advisory Work Group has hosted Family Fun Day, which took place at Riverbank State Park and had the theme of “Carnivale on the Hudson.” It featured appearances by Former New York Knick John Starks and former New York Liberty player Kym Hampton, along with performances by The Doc Marshalls and Women in Steel, among other activities.