December 17, 2002
Administration for Children’s Services Parent Recruitment Hotline Draws Record Number of Inquiries
New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner William C. Bell today announced that ACS’s division of Parent Recruitment and Expedited Permanency received a record number of inquiries from prospective adoptive and foster parents last month. The Parent Recruitment Hotline, 212-676-WISH, received 1,241 inquiries in October, the highest monthly tally since its creation in 1997 when ACS launched a campaign to find adoptive homes for children in foster care.
“The increase in caring New Yorkers reaching out to ACS’s Parent Recruitment Hotline is great news for ACS and the children in our care,” said Commissioner Bell. “ Currently 27,500 children are in foster care in New York City, and more than 800 of these children are in need of a permanent home. When individuals call the hotline to learn how to become a foster or adoptive parent, they are taking first step toward making a difference in a child’s life as well as their own. We encourage people to continue calling 676-WISH or logging onto www.nyc.gov/acs to inquire about adoption.”
This year to date, the hotline has received an average of 600 calls per month in 2002, for a total of 6,532 inquiries. In 2001, the hotline received a total of 4,253 calls. The rise in inquiries can be attributed to several efforts to increase awareness, including: ACS’s annual adoption celebration, NYC Adopt: Finding Children for Families; “Wednesday’s Child”, a weekly segment airing on NBC and sponsored by the Freddie Mac Foundation that features children in need of a permanent, loving home; the New York Daily News’ monthly “A Child is Waiting” column; ACS’s interactive adoption web site, “Meet Our Kids,” which was launched in January; and increased awareness through Circle of Support, ACS’s neighborhood-based foster parent support groups.
The Parent Recruitment Hotline is staffed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. by trained representatives who walk individuals through the adoption process and explain the steps required to become a foster parent. Representatives provide information in English and Spanish and can also connect New York City residents to resources in their own neighborhoods.
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services protects and ensures the safety and well being of New York City’s children and strengthens families. Formed in 1996, the agency oversees the City’s programs of child protection, foster care, preventive services, adoption, child support enforcement, childcare and Head Start.