Oswego County works to recruit foster parents

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Oswego, N.Y. – Food, shelter and someone to look to for help — just some things foster children in Oswego County are seeking.

The number of foster kids in Oswego County in need of a home has grown to more than 60 in recent years, according to social service records.

Senior Case Worker Patricia Pennock has spent the last 28 years helping place children with willing families.  She says certain kids need more help than others.

“Currently, foster parents look for children over the age of 10, sibling groups, as well as teenagers,” Pennock said. “The highest need right now, I would say, is teenagers.”

Foster children range from newborns to 21-year-olds, but typically, they are in search for a new home for different reasons.

“For the littler children it’s mostly family issues,” Pennock said. “For the older children, quite a bit of times it is their own issues because they are either not going to school or they have commit a crime, that if they were an adult they would go to jail or prison for and sometimes they have mental health issues they can’t reside in a family setting.”

The Oswego County Department of Social Services on 100 Spring Street in Mexico holds monthly informational meetings in order to find new foster parents including one Saturday. The two-hour meeting will start at 9 a.m. and will discuss what prospective parents need to do and expect when fostering a child.

Potential parents would undergo extensive background checks and house inspections followed by a 30-hour training session before they could bring someone home and takeover the parental role.

“All the normal things that people do with their kids as they grow up is what the children want,” Pennock said. “But they mostly want people to treat them with kindness and compassion.”

Pennock has seen foster children go on to be successful once taken in, and she hopes a few more may get a chance starting Saturday.