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Stories From Main Street: Finding Foster Care For Kids With Special Medical Needs

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Stories from Main Street (credit: CBSNewYork)

Stories from Main Street (credit: CBSNewYork)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A foster care placement agency has put out a call for compassionate hearts.

As WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported, the non-profit group New Alternatives for Children – NAC, for short – finds foster parents for medically fragile children.

“We need foster parents,” Arlene Goldsmith told Adams. “We really need you and you can do the job and we can help you. You will not be alone at this agency, we will be there for you every step of the way.”

Some of the children have lived in hospitals for years.

LINK: New Alternatives for Children

“Asthma, diabetes, cerebral palsy…Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, fetal alcohol syndrome, kids who’ve been abused and neglected, children who have been burn victims, all the way up to HIV,” said Goldsmith, who launched the non-profit. “The children that are in foster care come to us because their parents have issues – number one, poverty, domestic violence, intellectual disabilities that are very serious that they’re not able to parent the child.”

NAC works to eliminate the crisis and the disorder to provide stability and love for the children, Adams reported.

“We have a huge recreation program, we have art therapy, pet therapy or dogs here on Thursday, we have music therapy, we have drama therapy, we have a special program for women who have cognitive limitations who are raising children with disabilities,” said Goldsmith.

Goldsmith wrote a dissertation on who makes a good foster parent and found the common denominator is people who are optimistic.

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Carol Steptoe and her husband adopted two brothers who are now 6 and 14 years old. Both have learning issues and one suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

They are now both thriving, Adams reported.

“Just the level of love and openness and gratefulness and joy that they bring is just amazing,” Steptoe told Adams. “I think we’re better people because of our children.”

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