County says more foster homes needed to keep kids locally

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 June 2022 at 1:55 pm

ALBION – Orleans County officials are asking local residents to consider being foster parents. They don’t need to be perfect or have immaculate homes, said Holli Nenni, DSS commissioner.

Holli Nenni

The county currently has 30 children in foster care, but only 18 homes available.

“There is a very limited number of foster care families in Orleans County,” she told county legislators last week. “We need more.”

Children are in foster care due to abuse, neglect, parent incarceration, abandonment or death of a parent. They may be in a foster home for as a little as a week or for many months. The goal is to reunite those children with their biological families.

When there aren’t enough foster homes available locally, children are often sent to residential facilities such as Hillside Children’s Center in Rochester or New Directions Youth and Family Services in Buffalo, Nenni said.

The county DSS strives to keep siblings together, and wants to keep kids in the same school district they have been attending.

Foster parents receive a daily stipend. The county also assigns a caseworker to assist the foster parent and there is a foster care home support group.

The county would also welcome people to consider being a respite home in case of emergencies.

To be a foster parent, the county is looking for adults who are at least 21 years old, single or married; able to provide a safe and healthy home; ant to make a difference in the life of a child; and can work as part of a team with caseworkers, other community agencies, and the child’s family.

People need to pass a background check, complete trainings to be a foster parent, complete a home study with the foster home coordinator, and have a medical form completed by a doctor.

For more information, contact the DSS in Orleans County at (585) 589-3161.

To see a video about being a foster parent in Orleans County, click here.