by Rose Caldwell
Catholic Charities of Buffalo acknowledges that there is anger and disappointment associated with the Aug. 23 decision to phase out adoption and foster care services at Catholic Charities. We also recognize the rights of individuals and groups to express their feelings and beliefs in a peaceable manner.
Catholic Charities has worked closely with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Erie County Department of Social Services, the foster care families and foster care agencies to implement a seamless transition for the adoption and foster care program. The transition of adoption and foster care children and families is expected to be completed by mid-November.
The families providing foster care were given their choice of agency, and already have chosen their new agency home. In fact, many of the families were able to transition to their agency of choice with their current caseworker, since our caseworkers have made the same choice of agency.
Of the nine program staff members affected by the change, six employees have elected to go to the same agency with the foster families, two have taken other positions within Catholic Charities, and one has decided on a career path change.
Since the August announcement, Catholic Charities’ leaders have met and communicated with many key stakeholders. Our goal is to reassure our partners that the agency continues to provide the same high quality service it has always provided people in need across Western New York, and is equally committed to non-discrimination of clients in the provision of services and of our employees and volunteers – regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion (creed), age, national origin, disability, marital status, or military status.