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Chautauqua County to host foster parent recruitment event Saturday

WBFO File Photo

The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is hosting a foster parent and kinship recruitment event Saturday morning, hoping to attract new candidates to provide safe homes to children in need.

“This is an opportunity of really helping out our community, providing a safe home, a sustainable home, for a child until their family can get the support that they need to have the children back with them,” said Deputy Health & Human Services Commissioner Leanna Luka-Conley.

As of Friday, 98 children were in foster care throughout Chautauqua County. Children who end up in foster care range from infancy to 18 years old, may have special medical, physical or emotional needs, and come from various backgrounds and demographics.

Luka-Conley says they’re especially in need of safe housing situations for older children, and it’s important to keep groups of siblings together.

“It's kind of like a whole community wrapping the support around a child, to make sure that there's sustainability, along with looking at relative options,” she said. “There's already that family connection, to again be able to provide that ongoing support to that youth or the little one that may or may need support.”

The event will be held inside the Cassadaga Fire Hall, at 22 Mill Street in the Village of Cassadaga. It runs from 9 a.m. until noon, with orientation sessions for interested candidates at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Those interested but unable to attend may contact Sara Johnson at johnsons@co.chautauqua.nyus, or call (716) 753-4590.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.