FULTON, NY – At a recent Fulton Rotary Club meeting, Rotarian Rev. David Cramer introduced Jennifer Burgess from the Oswego County Department of Social Services.
Burgess spoke to the Rotarians on the matter of Foster Care and Adoptive Services in Oswego County.
She explained that the Department of Social Services must work with the court system.
They are not empowered to intervene except through prior access by reason of court action.
The Department of Social Services works in three areas:
1. Case management
2. Match families with needs
3. Training and Certifying families. This third category takes much of their time.
The training to be a Foster Care and/or Adoptive Family takes about 30 hours.
The first 11 hours helps to decide if this is something you are suited to do.
The class work does not expire so completion does not mandate Foster Care or Adoption must happen at graduation.
The family may decide to participate at a later time.
Participants go through an extensive background, family and even home check as well.
Social Service programs covers children from birth to 18 years of age.
Currently, the caseload is 56 children and 33 are in foster care in Oswego County.
Homes that have structure, discipline, kindness and compassion are sought after.
From the beginning the goal is reunification with the core family.
Only after these avenues are exhausted is something else pursued.
If it comes to adoption, children 14 and up have a say in their adoption.
The system supports and follows with resources even to the extent of helping them go to college.