Fostering change: Do you have what it takes to be a foster parent?

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Children looking for a forever family in New Hampshire

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MANCHESTER, NH – Like many states across the nation, New Hampshire is experiencing a critical shortage of foster and adoptive families. The opioid crisis in the State has further strained the system, as the number of New Hampshire children in foster care has more than doubled since 2014. It is especially difficult to find families who can provide care for teens like Victoria, whose story will be featured next week on WMUR’s “Home at Last.”

To address this need, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) will host an informational session for prospective foster and adoptive families at the Steeplegate Mall in Concord on Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Many of our youth in foster care return home to their own families thanks to the hard work and commitment of their parents. However, the State needs more foster and adoptive homes to ensure that all children in New Hampshire have an opportunity to live in a safe and nurturing environment where they can thrive,” said Joseph Ribsam, Director of DCYF. “Teens like Victoria deserve to be in a family setting. All of us at DCYF are grateful to the support and encouragement adoptive and foster families provide our youth as they navigate their futures.”

There are many ways to help youth in New Hampshire.  In addition to providing a foster or adoptive home, adults can mentor teens, volunteer to teach activities, or become CASA volunteers. The informational session Saturday in Concord will highlight opportunities for those who want to help.

Staff from child placing agencies will be available to answer questions about becoming a foster or adoptive family. Whether it is for a small commitment or the long haul, child welfare officials will share more information about helping youth in need.  As motivational speaker Josh Shipp says, “Every kid is just one caring adult away from being a success.” Adoptive and foster parents, volunteers and mentors help our youth reach bright and successful futures.

For more information about DCYF’s Foster Care & Adoptive Services, please visit

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NH Department of Health and Human Services