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Neighbor to Neighbor: Queens recognizes foster parents in May

By coincidence I recently received a very nice letter from Alyson V. Gladle, assistant director of external relations for Little Flower Children's Services of New York. She told me that because May is National Foster Care Month, "communities across the country will be celebrating the important role we can all play in the lives of children in foster care." Little Flower Children's Services of New York is planning recognition activities to honor foster families and encourage others to get involved in the lives of children in foster care.With locations in Jamaica, (89-12 162nd St., Phone 718-526-9150 and in Brooklyn, (186 Joralemon St., Phone: 7l8-875-3500); the Little Flower Children's Services residence and school for children is located on a former farm on the north shore of Long Island, specifically at Wading River. The agency was founded in 1929 by the pastor of St. Peter Claver Church in Brooklyn with support of hundreds of' parishioners who raised the funds to pay for the property. Now more than 70 years past, their staff of 600 reaches out with help for 3,000 children of all races, ages and religions from New York City's boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk counties.In addition, they have programs for Family Foster Care, Adoption Services, Therapeutic Foster Boarding Homes, Mother/Baby Foster Care, Family Day Care as well as Intermediate Care Facilities and Foster Care for youngsters and adults who are developmentallv disabled and multiply handicapped. Their Adortion Services were established in 1971, and continue to focus on the adoptive parents' ability to provide love, stability, nurturing and an all-important feeling of family permanency. Some foster parents are single, some are married, and some are divorced some even have their own natural children, but whether they need and qualify for financial assistance (if their adoptive child has special needs or is classified as "hard to place"), Little Flower offers the support necessary to protect the balance and unity of the newly created family. Little Flower's Mother/Baby Program provides a foster mother to be a firm, loving role model for a teenage mother so that she can keep and properly care for her child or children while she is preparing for her family's independent future with the help of casework assistance, medical and clinical treatment and special housing assistance when leaving the program. People who are willing and able to provide a therapeutic foster boarding home for young people between 7 and 17 who are experiencing emotional or behavioral problems must be prepared for a 24/7 project, requiring special training, regular treatment planning meetings, and group meetings and prescribed therapy sessions with other foster parents and their children.TFBH is the name of this program in which these very special therapeutic foster parents participate to give these children who have had chronic problems at home, with friends or at school an opportunity to enjoy a successful experience as a participating part of a family. Little Flower also has "A New Life Program" for developmentally disabled adults between the ages of 19 and 49 who have lived in an institution or other formalized residential setting. Through this program, they share in and contribute to a unique singular family and receive the individual attention they need, possibly attending special classes or working at a job. Family care providers receive stipends for a personal allowance for the person in their care, a clothing and vacation allowance, and they have access to medical, dental, social and referral services. The provider family must complete specialized training and is supported by visits from Little Flower social workers and the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Little Flower Children's Services the staff , including Herbert W. Stupp, chief executive officer, and Grace G. LoGrande, executive director, provide programs where children and the heart and family is the soul. They welcome willing helpers.

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