This year, approximately 800 New Hampshire children will find themselves in need of foster homes. Most will have been removed from their own homes due to parental abuse or neglect.
They’ll range from birth to age 18, have a wide range of circumstances, and will hail from every corner of the state. Unfortunately, there are not enough licensed foster homes to accommodate all of the children in need in New Hampshire.
Child and Family Services of NH, a private, nonprofit, is working in partnership with the State Department of Health and Human Services’ Division for Children, Youth and Families, to recruit foster homes throughout New Hampshire. Together, the agencies are reaching out to citizens across the state to raise awareness of, and interest in fostering, and to provide on-going support for foster families.
The children who are in need of foster care have had difficult lives because of parental neglect, abandonment, exposure to drugs and alcohol, and physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Some children enter foster care when no relatives are able to care for them, either after a parent dies, or when the family is not equipped to handle their complicated special needs. Some of the youth are children in need of supervision or are delinquent youth. No matter their background or specific history, they have all experienced loss and have suffered from trauma.
DCYF, CFS, and other private foster care agencies, work together to ensure that when children need to be placed in care, they can stay in their own communities, thereby remaining in their own school with their own friends and familiar comforts, and with the least amount of disruption.
The length of stay in foster care is different for each child, depending upon the situation. When it is possible, and in the child’s best interest to reconnect with the family, services are put into place for that, and foster parents are asked to be a part of the reunification team. In cases where reunification is not viable, and there are no other family options, the children may then be adopted.