New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner John B. Mattingly and New York State Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) New York City Regional Office Director Fred Levitan kicked off Adoption Week in New York City today at Grand Central Terminal’s 42nd Street Passage. The focus of the announcement was the Adoption Week Grand Central Outreach, a weeklong photo display and informational project to raise public awareness about the need for adoptive families for youth living in foster care in New York City. The display contains photos of children who are currently available for adoption and experts will be on-site throughout the week to provide information on the joys and challenges of adoption.
“There are hundreds of young people living in foster care today waiting for a permanent and loving family,” said Commissioner Mattingly. “In honor of Adoption Week in New York State, Children’s Services is reaching out to make all New Yorkers aware of how they can make a positive difference in the life of a child.”
Joining Commissioner Mattingly and Director Levitan were members of two adoptive families. Minerva Rivera is an adoptive mother of four and a foster mother of four. Ms. Rivera adopted daughter Marquita, 18, just over two years ago. Greg Miller adopted son Dennis in July 2005. Mr. Miller is a father of four.
OCFS Commissioner John A. Johnson said, “Over the past decade, New York State has made tremendous progress in improving outcomes for our children and families in need. Together with Chief Judge Judith Kaye, we have worked hand in hand with ACS and all of our local partners to help find permanent homes for children awaiting adoption. Through outstanding events like this week's Grand Central Photo Outreach Project, we will continue working to bring families together.”
Of the 17,279 children currently in foster care in New York City, approximately 350 need a permanent adoptive home, many of whom are adolescents or youth with special needs. Though the majority of children adopted out of the foster care system are adopted by their foster parents, many children living in foster care are still waiting for a loving person to open his or her heart and home.
New Yorkers will be able to view the Photo Outreach display and talk to an adoption expert throughout the week by visiting Grand Central Terminal’s 42nd Street Passage from Monday, November 14 through Wednesday, November 16 and Friday, November 18 through Saturday, November 19; and by visiting the Terminal’s Graybar Passage on Thursday, November 17. The exhibit will be open Monday through Friday from 11a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Additional Adoption Week celebrations include Adoption Day New York City, which will be held in Brooklyn Family Court on November 16. Children’s Services will close adoption week with the Day of the Child, New York City’s annual mentoring event. Day of the Child is designed to inspire New Yorkers to volunteer their day with a young person in need of a mentor at this special event, with the potential to become a mentor on an ongoing basis to a young person who is either in foster care or on a waiting list citywide for a mentor. The event also aims to raise awareness overall about our role as the City’s children’s services agency charged with protecting children and strengthening families. This year’s celebration will be held November 19 in the Chelsea Piers Field House on Pier 62 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information about NYC Adopt or adopting or fostering a New York City child, please call 311 or visit the ACS web site at www.nyc.gov/adopt.