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News Release

August 5, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

County Social Services Thank Foster/Adoptive Families with Picnic

Poughkeepsie… Smiles and sunshine were both plentiful this afternoon in Dutchess County’s Bowdoin Park as the Department of Social Services (DSS) hosted its annual Foster/Adoptive Family Picnic.     Nearly 200 people, including over 100 children, enjoyed an afternoon of fun and food served up by Social Services staff in appreciation to foster and adoptive families for helping make a child’s life better.

County Executive Steinhaus, “Our foster and adoptive families open their homes and their hearts to help raise children in need.    Today’s picnic celebrates and offers a big “THANK YOU” to these special families who provide love and care to children to help them grow into healthy, confident adults.”

Foster/Adoptive Family Picnic imageThe annual event offers support and encouragement to foster parents and parents who have adopted through DSS foster care.   The picnic provides an opportunity for foster and adoptive parents to get together with other parents who have welcomed children into their homes. 

“The foster and adoptive family picnic is a great opportunity for our foster and adoptive families to reconnect with each other in a fun way,” said DSS Deputy Commissioner Debra Bonnerwith.  “The children look forward to seeing the friends they’ve made over the years, and our Children’s Services workers enjoy casually connecting with the children and parents.  Everyone has a great time!”

Kayla Singleton Hula Hooping imageThis year’s picnic theme was “Healthy Living, Healthy Choices.”  Activities included a Karate demonstration and a “cooking class” where children had a chance to learn to make a yummy tropical fruit salad.  Every child even had a chance to make and take home their own hula hoop. Everyone also received a canvas “goodie” bag filled with healthy living items donated by Price Chopper, Fidelis Cares, the Dutchess County Department of Health, and other supportive organizations.

Staff keep the grills cooking imagePicnic attendees enjoyed traditional picnic including sausage and peppers, hot dogs, hamburgers and salad.    Grills are manned by DSS Administrative staff, with Social Services Commissioner Robert Allers serving as Chief Chef.   All the food and lunch-related items were supplied by staff.    DSS staff hosts an annual employee Bake Sale and Raffle to support the picnic event.    “We have a great team of people who love what they do and are passionate about helping the people in our community who need help,” said Commissioner Allers.   “Our employees volunteer their own time to serve in our community and this picnic is just another example of the extra mile they will go to help brighten other people’s lives.”

There is a great need for more foster and adoptive homes.  DSS Children’s Services continually recruit and train foster and adoptive home applicants.   There are currently nearly 300 children placed in foster or adoptive homes throughout Dutchess County.     For information on becoming a foster parent, contact the Dutchess County Department of Social Services at 486-3230 or visit the county website at:
 http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/SocialServices/SSfostercare.htm

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County Executive

County Executive