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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro joined the County’s Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) to recognize National Adoption Month, celebrating the adoptions of seven children in Dutchess County Family Court who had previously been under the supervision of DCFS’ Foster Care Unit.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Safeguarding the security and well-being of our most vulnerable children is one of Dutchess County’s most important responsibilities, a serious task the County’s Department of Community and Family Services tirelessly undertakes every day. National Adoption Month highlights the countless hours of hard work from numerous DCFS staff member, all of whom strive each day with the community’s children in mind. We celebrate these new families and encourage all Dutchess County residents to consider opening their hearts and their homes by becoming prospective foster or adoptive parents."
November is National Adoption Month, and National Adoption Day is an annual event in which courts and communities in all 50 states come together to finalize adoptions and to celebrate the families who adopt. It provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of the need for adoptive homes and to demonstrate appreciation for the families who have opened the heart, homes and lives to children in need of a permanent home.
“We hope to demonstrate through this celebration during National Adoption Month that to give love and offer a foster child a nurturing home is life-giving,” DCFS Commissioner Sabrina Jaar Marzouka said.
In 2015, DCFS facilitated the adoptions of 44 children through Dutchess County foster care. Since Jan. 1, 2016, 40 children have been adopted through Dutchess County foster care.
Last year, 322 children were placed in foster care throughout Dutchess County, but there were only 78 active foster/adoptive homes and 49 relative foster homes available, stressing the need for more prospective foster parents.
In 2016, DCFS has worked together with Dutchess County Family Court and adoption attorneys to facilitate adoptions more quickly. Previously, adoptions of children in protective services took an average of 403 days; those adoptions now average 130 days.
Commissioner Marzouka said, “No matter the age, a child can be brought out of the worst situation. Every child deserves a family to belong to, a place to call home, and someone to rely on for love and support. There are children right now hoping for a family to call their own. We encourage people to open their hearts and to explore this alternative."
DCFS’ Foster Care Unit is responsible for providing case management and direct services to children in foster family homes and their birth families. More information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent is available here.