The Challenges and Rewards of Providing & Supporting Foster Care
A Presentation and Q & A with FJC Member and Foster Parent Eileen Elias and Sonja Deceus Dubuisson, Family Resource Recruiter at the Department of Children and Families Region
Monday, May 13, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M.
Free and Open to the Public
On April 6, just days before this column went to print, The Boston Globe carried a front page report on the acute shortage of Massachusetts families willing to open their doors to abused and neglected children. The article detailed how, as children are landing in foster care and mired there for increasingly longer stretches of time as the opioid epidemic continues to splinter families and overwhelm the state’s child protection system, the state’s Department of Children and Families has been unable to recruit and retain foster parents to meet the increasing needs. The number of children in foster care has spiked by almost 20 percent in the last five years, and now stands at roughly 9,200. “It is a crisis in care largely unaddressed, and the children are paying the price,” the Globe found.
WCVB, Boston’s Channel 5, ran a similar story on the DCF’s struggle to find foster homes. https://www.wcvb.com/article/dcf-struggling-without-enough-foster-homes/25921664
Thanks to member Eileen Elias, an experienced foster parent here on Cape Cod with her husband Stan, FJC is pleased to present this public program on fostering, with a special local focus. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss foster care in an interactive program. Eileen will discuss the experience of herself and Stan as foster parents, the children they have supported, and the profound impact it has made on their lives. Joining Eileen is Sonja Deceus Dubuisson from the Department of Children and Families Southern Region, who will identify the various ways foster care supports can be provided and answer your questions.
Friends, this is a Jewish concern and we have a responsibility to be educated about needs that going unmet and ways that we as individuals and, possibly, as a community might help to fix this situation. Read, for example, how Reform congregation Or Ami (Calabassas, CA) received the URJ’s Fein Social Action award by instituting a program to support foster children: https://reformjudaism.org/blog/2010/11/19/foster-care-outreach-fain-award-winning-program.