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May 26, 2015

ACS Celebrates National Foster Care Month

Foster Parents Recognized for their Dedication at Event Highlighting Evidenced-Based Foster Care Models and Cultural Presentation of Brazilian Music

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) celebration of National Foster Care Month culminated in a reception featuring a panel discussion on evidence-based foster care models followed by a spirited performance by Brazilian inspired group Nation Beat. The reception took place at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan on May 26 and was attended by foster parents, as well staff from ACS and foster care agencies. Organized by the ACS Division of Family Permanency Services (FPS), the event was the last in a series of events focused on recruiting, training and supporting quality foster parents to provide the highest level of care to children and youth in ACS care.

In her welcome to the families, FPS Deputy Commissioner Benita Miller said, “The importance of adoptive parents is immeasurable—you provide the love, stability, and guidance to support a child’s well-being. You give our children a chance to lead safe, healthy, and supported lives.” Featured speaker, ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrión thanked foster parents for dedication to children in ACS care. “My deepest thanks to our foster parents from all walks of life, who have opened their hearts to provide safe and loving homes for our most vulnerable children, including teenagers, LGBTQ young people, pregnant and parenting teens, and special needs youth,” she said.

Commissioner Gladys Carrión with a foster parent at the event
Commissioner Gladys Carrión with a foster parent at the event

Following remarks, a panel discussion on evidence-based foster care models provided an opportunity for foster parents to learn about efforts by ACS to support and train foster parents. Panelists included: licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Kenneth Einhorn who works with adolescents participating in New York Foundling’s Blue Sky Multidimensional Treatment Foster (MTFC) program; Child Success NYC lead staff Alexandria Munoz; Director of Special Projects and Child Success NYC program at the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services; Keturah Pierre, Vice President of Foster Home Services at the Jewish Child Care Association; Jayme Rosado, case planner and trainer at Good Shepherd Services, and foster parents participating in Child Success NYC support programs Sonia Alvarez and Lillian Bonilla.

The participants discussed the clinical benefits of evidence-based foster parenting as well as the support component which foster parents. In his presentation, Dr. Einhorn notes that while no program is beneficial to all children, Blue Sky program has been able to reduce recidivism among youth who participated. Speaking of ChildSuccessNYC, both foster parents expressed their appreciation for the support they receive which is built into weekly interactive sessions that help them address behavioral issues with the children in their care. In the question and answer period, FPS Associate Commissioner Jackie Roth and Commissioner Gladys Carrión said that ACS is working on making such supports available to foster parents throughout the system. The panel was moderated by Ina Mendez, Acting Assistant Commissioner, FPS.

Panelists Dr. Kenneth Einhorn and Alexandria Munoz speak about evidence-based foster care programs
Panelists Dr. Kenneth Einhorn and Alexandria Munoz speak about evidence-based foster care programs

ChildSuccessNYC is currently being implemented a pilot project at the following foster care agencies: Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, Good Shepherd, Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA), New York Foundling and St. Dominic’s. ChildSuccessNYC combines aspects of evidence-based programs and other prescribed model components, including KEEP a training program which supports foster parents to help limit placement disruptions, reduce lateral moves for children and increase permanency rates. Read more about ChildSuccessNYC.

Contact: (212) 341-0999