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Press Release
June 3, 2013

New York City Children’s Services Launches “Be The Reason” Ad Campaign to Recruit Foster and Adoptive Parents

-- Compelling Campaign Seeks Foster and Adoptive Parents for Teens, Pregnant or Parenting Adolescents, LGBTQ Young People, and Sibling Groups -- 

The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) launched today a city-wide advertising campaign to recruit quality foster and adoptive parents.  The campaign, called “Be The Reason,” is targeted to a diverse audience of New Yorkers in an effort to open their eyes to the wonderful possibilities of being a foster parent. Each ad features a compelling message that informs New Yorkers of the impact they can have in a child or teenager’s life by providing them with a safe, supportive, and loving home.

“The Administration for Children’s Services is seeking highly committed and loving foster and adoptive parents who represent the real diversity of our great City,” said ACS Commissioner Ronald E. Richter. “As I speak to New Yorkers about fostering and adoption, I like to remind them that our young people bring so much more to them than they could ever imagine. Each of our kids is unique and powerful.”

The ads will be placed in varied locations throughout the city, including numerous subway lines and media outlets. The recruitment effort will reflect the range of young people who need homes, including teenagers, disabled young people, sibling groups, and LGBTQ youth. For example, to address the need for LGBTQ and affirming foster parents, one of the ads featured is “Be the Reason…It Gets Better.”  (Click here to see the series of ads.)

The campaign is intended to raise awareness among prospective individuals who may not realize that they “qualify” to be a foster parent. There are a number of widespread misconceptions, such as the belief that a foster parent needs to own rather than rent an apartment, needs to be partnered, or be of a certain age, or have had prior parenting experience. “Be The Reason” seeks to dispel these misconceptions with an inclusive message that shows the love that a young person can bring to the life of an adoptive or foster parent.  The campaign targets some of these specific groups – including older New Yorkers, single adults, lesbians and gay men.  

“Many people don’t know that you can be single or working full time,” says Benita Miller, ACS Deputy Commissioner of Family Permanency Services. “We hope that many of the caring and giving New Yorkers who are looking to make a difference in someone else’s life, will really think about taking on this meaningful endeavor. There is nothing like the sense of fulfillment and happiness it can bring.”

Adopting or fostering a child is a rewarding lifelong experience both for parents and young people alike. “Be The Reason” invites New York City residents to step forward and share in this joy.

“All you have to do is spend a little time getting to know these young people.  Many New Yorkers have already benefitted from being a foster or adoptive parent, and we hope that many more caring individuals step forward,” explained Commissioner Richter. 

Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent may call 311, visit www.nyc.gov and search NYCFoster, or text “reason” to 877-877.  In New York City, there are approximately 12,800 children and teens living in foster care. Currently, over 700 teenagers are available for adoption, including teens who are LGBTQ, pregnant or parenting, or have special needs.

Contact:  Michael Fagan, NYC Administration for Children’s Services: (212) 341-0999.


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