Foster Care

Foster care is a temporary arrangement for children who cannot live safely with their birth family. Parents with children in foster care are legally entitled to services to help them parent their children safely. In New York State, 64% of children discharged from foster care in 2014 (as of 9/3014) returned home. If a parent is still unable to care for their child after 15 of the last 22 months that the child is in foster care, the agency or county that has legal custody for the child must move to terminate the parent’s legal rights to free the child for adoption. This section has information about how to become a foster parent; the special challenges of kinship care; building shared parenting relationships between foster parents, birth families, and agencies; financial supports for families; and legal issues that foster parents might face.

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There are 18,397 children in foster care in New York State. 3,889 children have a goal of adoption, 354 of whom are legally freed and waiting for an adoptive family.


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