PARAMUS, N.J. – A Paramus-based non-profit that provides human services and child welfare programs is closing its child care center that serves low-income families, as well as four group homes for children in foster care.
The agency, Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS), has been serving the community for nearly 119 years.
“While helping vulnerable children and families is still at the heart of our mission, our programs must continually adapt for the agency to remain strong,” said CAFS Communications Director Sheila Riccardi.
Riccardi confirmed that the Turrell Child Care & Early Learning Center – which serves low income families -- is closing on January 31. The agency is working with affected families and the Bergen County Office for Children to help families that receive subsidies find alternative child care, she said.
“For the past several years, enrollment has been declining as a result of several large, franchised child care centers opening in the area,” she said.
Effective January 31, the agency is also closing its “Specialty Bed” program, which provides a high level of care to children in foster care with significant trauma, she said.
“The level of service in these homes has been declining, following a nationwide trend in child welfare away from congregate care and toward in-home supports and kinship care,” she said.
Riccardi said the closure affects four homes, which the agency plans to repurpose for other uses, and “we are working to ensure that children and teenagers currently living in those homes each have transition plans in place.”
The agency will continue to provide individual foster families, educational and emergency support for teens aging out of foster care, adoption and mentoring programs for children and teens in foster care, as well as a group home for teens in foster care, seven homes for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and a home for teenage mothers and their babies.
Riccardi said the agency is always looking for caring foster families, adoptive parents and mentors. For more information, CLICK HERE .
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