G.A. Family Services
40 Gardenville Parkway
West Seneca, NY 14224
G.A. Family Services
515 West 5th Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
Contact us by mail, phone, or e-mail!
Two locations to serve you.
Foster Care Staff Contact Information
Director of Community Based Services
West Seneca Office ~ 716-668-0490
Assistant Director of Community Based Services
Jamestown Office ~ 716-708-6161
Foster Care Program
G.A. serves, Jamestown, Buffalo and the surrounding areas of western New York.
Our offices are located in Jamestown, West Seneca and Holland, New York.
Become a Healing Foster Parent!
We Need You! Will You Help?
Every day, children throughout the country, state, and our neighborhood are placed into foster care due to abuse, neglect and maltreatment. Given the shortage of foster homes nationwide, it is vital that G.A. support our community’s effort by finding safe, stable and loving homes to help children cope and heal from these traumatic life circumstances.
As a Healing Foster Parent you provide a life changing measure of support by assisting families who are hurting and by meeting the needs of children in times of crisis and disruption. Foster parents are needed to care for teenagers, sibling groups and children impacted by trauma.
“To the world you may be one person, however to one person you may be the world.”
Are you interested in making a difference in the life of a child? Continue to explore our website to see if fostering is for you.
Why Choose Us?
We Lead By Example
G.A. serves as a leader among Western New York Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Care Agencies. We employ highly skilled, licensed and credentialed administrative, clinical, and specialty practitioners. Our three offices are strategically located in West Seneca, Holland and Jamestown, serving all of WNY.
We Perform as One Team
G.A. offers a multi-disciplinary and integrated team, which supports you through all aspects of the foster care journey. We place high value on having foster parents as an integral part of the team. Our unique team includes; a Registered Nurse, Clinical Supervisor, Account Coordinator, Assistant Director and Director. Furthermore, each of our three Foster Care Offices have their respective Secretaries, Family Resource Coordinators, Caseworkers, and Program Managers to serve the unique needs of children, families, referral sources and stakeholders. Child specific services are also provided with the support of a Skillbuilder and Medical Driver. Together, we make a difference!
We are Accountable for Results
G.A. Foster Care employees take personal responsibility for the quality of their work, ensuring requests are addressed in a timely manner and resources are secured to foster success. Our high standards make certain that children and families are provided with the most up to date training, supports and expert providers to help children and families enhance safety and growth. The rewards of fostering are endless. Consider how you can help….Touch a Heart and Touch a Future!
We Share Our Knowledge and Expertise
Knowledgeable staff offers personal and professional expertise in foster care and adoption. We ask thoughtful questions in order to deliver the highest quality services. Our staff includes individuals who have been in your shoes both as a foster/adoptive parent, as well as children who have been in foster care/adopted.
We Deliver a Personalized Experience
G.A. recognizes that fostering is a life enriching experience where every moment is personal. Meaningful conversations occur throughout the entire process to make sure that children and families feel safe, accepted, and understood. Family preferences are explored to be certain of mutually positive experiences.
We at G.A. Family Service’s Foster Care Program promise that we will work together with you and your family to make fostering the most rewarding experience possible. Collaborative support and intensive training serves as the hallmark of our Foster Care Program. We commit to being by your side every step of the way in the certification process.
Foster Parents are valued members of our multi-disciplinary team and are honored for their role in the success of our program and desire to make a difference in the life of a child.
Foster Parents also receive the following benefits:
We realize you have a choice and are confident you will find G.A. the leader in providing foster care services across Western New York. Our experience in caring for children, families and each other is solution-focused, trauma-informed and driven by our mission to help families achieve their goals and independence.
Who Can Be A Foster Parent?
Eligible Foster Parents:
We are excited to move through the certification process with you and your family.
Your journey begins with your first contact with our knowledgeable staff.
We will work along side your family to schedule a time to meet with you in your home to highlight the certification process and answer any initial questions you may have.
Step 1- Application Process
The application process to become a New York State certified foster parent requires several steps before approval and certification can occur. The first step towards certification involves completion and submission of your foster care application to the G.A. Foster Care Program.
Step 2 - Home Study Process
The second step towards certification is completion of the home study process. G.A. Family Services staff will meet with you and your family to develop our working partnership. During this time you will provide background clearances and information that will further assist us in the development of your written homestudy. We will also explore your strengths and needs in order to further determine your eligibility for certification and placement of a child or children in your home. In addition the homestudy process will help you determine the types of placements that would be the best match for you and your family while supporting your skills in meeting the child’s needs.
Step 3- MAPP/GPS and Decision Making Process
Finally prospective foster families are expected to participate in an eleven session mutual selection training program. This program titled Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting: Group Preparation and Selection Process (MAPP/GPS) is offered in a group format, allowing parents to share ideas, learn together and build supportive relationships. The sessions are designed to help you prepare for foster parenting by enhancing your ability to partner with birth families and meet the needs of children living in your home. Our best hope is that this program will assist you with assessing your own strengths and needs as a potential foster parent for children in care.
Step 4- Certification as a Licensed Foster Home
Upon successful completion of the certification process your family will be eligible to accept placements in your foster home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualities do you look for in prospective foster parents?
G.A. Family Services is looking for families who possess strong communication skills, who are reliable and understand the expectations, as well as the invaluable impact they make on the next generation. In addition, families who are dependable, patient, and willing to learn new strategies to assist children with various needs are very successful when fostering children.
Do foster parents have to own their own home?
G.A. Family Services foster parents can own or lease their home or apartment. Families must ensure their home has adequate room. Foster children of the same sex can share a bedroom with other children in the home. The bedroom must provide ample space for a foster child, including a separate bed and dresser for the child, a door for privacy, and a window to allow for escape in case of emergency. The expectations around fire and safety standards will be explained to you when visiting the home.
Do I need any special training to be a G.A. foster parent?
Upon completion of the pre-certification program families are expected to attend additional trainings each year. G.A. Family Services offers in house monthly training as well as additional opportunities to enhance your skill development to meet the needs of the children in your home.
Who are the children that will be placed in my home?
Children placed in foster care range in age from birth to 21. These children come to require foster care support due to the challenges in their family of origin and their inability to safely remain in their home. Children placed in foster care have experienced trauma in the form of abuse and neglect. These children are amazingly resilient and will be a positive addition to your family.
Where do children in foster care come from?
Children placed in your home may come from your community, as well as other areas in Western New York. Children being placed in the foster home may be moving from their family of origin, a relative home, another foster home, or a group care setting.
Will I have an opportunity to meet the child before they live with me?
In most cases children come into foster care on an emergency basis, which does not allow for an opportunity to meet prior to the child coming to live with you. We will always share any information we receive about the child to assist you in determining if he/she is a good match for your family. In those circumstances where opportunity allows, we will schedule visits with the child and your family prior to placement.
How long should I expect a child to remain in my foster home?
The amount of time a child will remain in your home is dependent upon the circumstances involved in placement, the needs of the child, and the needs for their family of origin. Some children are returned home or discharged to family members quickly, while other children may remain in your home for over a year. Children who are not able to be returned to their birth families may become eligible for adoption and your family could have the opportunity to adopt.
What is my role in supporting connection with families of origin?
Your assistance in supporting family connections for the child in your home is a vital part of your foster parent role. A supportive relationship between the foster parent and members of the child’s family will provide a foundation for the child to thrive through the unified efforts of the most important adults in their lives. Children are encouraged to be in contact with their families of origin, which could include regularly scheduled visitation, phone calls, and community appointments. Supportive contact with families is essential to maintain the connections that encourage reunification.
Can I adopt a foster child placed in my home?
In the event that is it decided that a child is unable to safely return to their family of origin, they may become legally freed for adoption. During this process you will be encouraged to consider your role in adoption and will have opportunity to do so.
What supports are available for foster parents?
G.A. Family Services offers extensive support on an ongoing basis, as well as during times of additional need. Families will each work with a skilled case worker who will meet regularly with you to provide oversight and service planning. G.A. Family Services Registered Nurse and Clinical Team will provide ongoing assessment of the needs for specialized services and then coordinate and monitor progress. These services may include, but are not limited to, skill building, mental health counseling, psychiatry, psychology, as well as medical and school based advocacy to support the ongoing needs. G.A. Family Services provides emergency on-call services to support and assist you after normal business hours if an emergency situation arises.
Is there financial assistance available for foster parents?
Foster families are expected to have sufficient income to meet their family needs. Financial support may be available to assist you with day care or after school programming for parents working outside of the home. Compensation is provided to offset your increased cost of food, transportation, and activities, but is not be considered income.
Why should I choose G.A. Family Services?
We realize you have a choice in foster care agencies and we are confident you will find G.A. Family Services the leader in providing foster care services across Western New York. Our experience in caring for children, families, and each other is solution-focused, trauma-informed, and driven by our mission to help families achieve their goals.
“We know that being a parent is special and it is so worth becoming, but a foster parent is something that is earned. You learn about what it takes to be a parent and build a special bond with your child whether they are 2 months old or 14 years old when you first meet. Being a foster parent opens up so many hearts and builds so many relationships because everyone involved is on a journey to help kids find forever families whether it be with the birth parents or with new adoptive parents.”
Mark and Rob adopted a sibling set of two brothers. Prior to that, they cared for a little boy with leukemia until he was able to return home.
Request Information on Becoming a Foster Parent
Please fill each of the required fields below to request more information on the Foster Care Program.
Call Toll Free: 1-800-674-4237