Foster Care


There are approximately 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system with more than 1/4 of them available for adoption.  New York State has some of the highest numbers in the country with nearly 20,000 kids in care.  Foster children come into care due to no fault of their own.  They are in need of a safe, loving family either temporarily until they can be reunified with their biological family or, when reunification isn’t possible, they are in need of a forever family.  Foster children and their families are a mission field right in our own communities.

Foster care is a perfect place for the Church to be the arms of Jesus to local children and families in crisis. Those with a heart to get involved
but not feeling led to become a foster parent can meet local needs through
the Care Portal. The Care Portal is an online platform connecting child
welfare agencies and churches to meet the needs of vulnerable children
and families. Click below to learn how you can volunteer or support Care Portal in the Capital Region. 



What is Respite? 

Respite is fostering part-time to give full-time foster families a break.  A family can do respite for the weekend or longer.  Full-time foster families sometimes need a break to attend a funeral or wedding, deal with an emergency or just need a rest.  To become a respite foster family contact your local agency.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
— Matthew 25:35-36 & 40

Foster Care Agencies in NY State:

While the State of NY oversees the foster care system, foster children in NY are in the custody of the county of residence.  Families desiring to foster can become certified foster parents through their county (check your county’s website for details) or through a private licensed foster care agency as listed below.  The process to become a licensed foster parent includes completing an application, participating in training classes, background checks and paperwork.  There is no financial cost to prospective families. 

Albany County -

Berkshire Farm -

Northern Rivers (formerly Northeast and Parsons) -

St. Catherine’s -

Rensselaer County -

Schenectady County -


Cartwheels For Kids:

A joint program of Hope Full Life Center in Ravena, NY and JFO.  Foster families can receive free clothing and other items for foster children in their home.  This program serves foster families in Albany County and surrounding areas.  To learn more visit: