Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner Ronald E. Richter hosted foster and adoptive families, Family Court Judges, foster care agencies and other child welfare professionals at a reception held on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at Gracie Mansion to mark National Adoption Month.
In thanking the adoptive families, Mayor Bloomberg said, “One of our highest responsibilities – as leaders, as advocates, and as citizens – is to foster the health and well-being of our children. And one of the most important things we can do to fulfill that promise is ensuring that our children grow up in safe, stable homes.” The Mayor thanked the many partners in the New York City child welfare system, including ACS, the Human Resources Administration, adoption agencies, Family Court judges and adoption attorneys who “continue to do a tremendous job for the families of New York City.”
ACS Commissioner Richter congratulated the families who were being honored on the finalization of the adoption of their children. He told the gathering that “Tonight is a celebration of their new lives together, and of all the families that are now stronger because of New Yorkers like you.” The Commissioner noted that adoption is a “two-way street” with children bringing joy to their new families. He thanked everyone who contributed to achieving permanency for these families, adding that “We cannot achieve these goals without the help of everyone here tonight – our partners in foster care and adoption, the Family Court, and most importantly, families who are willing to share their homes.”
Currently, the number of children in foster care in New York City is less than 15,000, a record low. Last year, over 1,200 children were adopted from foster care as ACS works to keep children safe by reuniting families, when that is safely possible, or finding children foster and adoptive homes. “As we come to the end of National Adoption Month, we cannot forget the important work that must continue throughout the year. With your help, we must ensure that every child who needs a safe, loving home, finds one,” said Commissioner Richter.
Janice Huff, WNBC weather person and producer of Wednesday’s Child program, which helps find homes for children in foster care waiting for adoption also spoke at the reception. She expressed her “pleasure in meeting children each week whose only wish is to have a family of their very own.” She joined the Mayor and Commissioner Richter in thanking everyone for their efforts in finding permanent homes for children.
The event was supported by Casey Family Programs and the City of New York. Casey Family Programs is a national operating foundation based in Seattle that works to provide and improve services for children and families foster care, as well as programs to keep children safely at home.