County’s Family Fun Day for Foster Families
The Westchester County Department of Social Services held its annual Family Fun Day for Foster Families on August 19 at Playland Park in Rye.
Each year Westchester County organizes and invites more than 500 foster parents and children to participate in a free day in Playland Park to honor and show appreciation for the adults who have become certified foster homes. This year 300 people attended the event. It is the goal of the DSS staff to provide an enjoyable, carefree, family bonding experience. Attendees were given t-shirts, a wristband to enter the park and enjoy the rides, free parking, as well as a delicious picnic lunch at the pavilion along the Long Island Sound. It was a beautiful, sunny day as the staff greeted the families.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer stated, “Foster children represent all ethnic groups from infants through teenagers. Some children have handicap conditions and need special care. We are so grateful to all the parents who open their hearts and commit to providing a safe and stable home to these vulnerable children. We are happy to provide a special day to celebrate and show our thanks.”
Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Leonard Townes said: “This is the first year we were able to hold Family Fun Day since COVID, and we were so excited to see our families in person as well as the smiling faces as they check-in at the registration desk. It takes a special person to go through all the training and fill out the paperwork necessary to take in a child and we don’t take that for granted.”
Sharell and Joshua Thompson, Foster Parents said, “We take being a foster parent very seriously because these children are precious gifts. They’re a great blessing to have in the home and they need love and care. As for the training—you’ll have counselors, caseworkers, etc., to help guide you through the process, what to do, and what not to do.”
Currently, there are approximately 200 foster families who are part of Westchester’s foster parent network and provide temporary homes for brothers and sisters being placed together, for medically fragile children, for babies/toddlers, and for children who are 10 years and older. We welcome inquiries from adults of all backgrounds, ages, income levels, and marital status. There is a screening process, mandated requirements, and training provided.
It is a big commitment, but we ask that you consider learning more. You can choose 1 of 3 actions:
1) Fill out a short form;
2) Attend a weekly virtual info session on any Thursday from 6 p.m.–7 p.m.; or
3) Call Yamilet Lopez at (914) 336-0076 for more information.