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The New York State Office of Children and Family Services recently awarded Jamestown’s G.A. Family Services with a $300,000 grant for post-adoption support. The funding will allow G.A. to operate as a Regional Permanency Resource Center (RPC) in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Wyoming, and Niagara counties. The OCFS grant can be renewed up to five years for a total of $1.5 million.
“This funding will allow us to provide the additional support and resources needed to assist families in five western New York counties who have expanded their family through adoption or legal guardianship,” said Karl Wiggins, G.A. Vice President of Youth and Family Services. G.A. Family Services. “Once a child is adopted from foster care, the formal services end shortly thereafter. This grant provides a seamless transition to assist the youth and family with the challenges they experience during any part of their journey together,” said Wiggins.
The 2016-2017 NYS budget included funds to provide post adoption and post guardianship support services that would keep foster children and families together. The RPC funding made available through OCFS is aimed at improving the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in adoptive and legal guardianship situations. The funding all stems from the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 designed to assist children in foster care and promote adoption.
To qualify for funding, specific RPC program criteria must be met. Programs must be family-focused, culturally sensitive, strength-based, flexible to family needs, and easy to access geographically and by hours of operation. G.A. Family Services currently operates programs in all of the counties already which made G.A. a strong candidate for the grant.
“We’re very thankful for this opportunity. This grant award will directly impact over 50 families and more than 100 children in our care,” said Wiggins. “We average around 16 adoptions each year and our goal is to preserve the family and prevent the need for out-of-home placement,” he said.
For more information on adoption services provided by G.A. Family Services, please call 716-665-6161 or visit G.A. on the web at www.gafamilyservices.org.
G.A. Family Services is a part of Lutheran, a Christian organization with a comprehensive continuum of community, residential, and home based supportive services that help people of all ages gain or retain independence.