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Foster Parents Honored By The City

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Foster mom Jill Mullings and her son Antwan at the Bronx Zoo

The children were abandoned, abused or neglected, but caring adults stepped in to give them refuge. In honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month, NYC Children's Services, in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society, feted those who open their homes to children in need at its Foster Parent Celebration Day on Saturday.

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium opened their doors to foster parents and their children for a day of fun. The event was held to honor those who take in children and, at the same time, to encourage New Yorkers to step forward as foster parents.

"Children's Services recognizes that without a strong network of foster parents to love and support our children and families there cannot be a viable child welfare system," said Deputy Commissioner Lorraine Stephens. "Foster parents are indeed the heroes in the life stories of our children that are often not told. We are happy to honor those who provide a safe and stable environment for our children."  

No matter the circumstances of his or her parents, every child deserves to be happy and free to dream great dreams. Yet there are still many who need loving and supportive adults to nurture and care for them. 

The agency is also seeking placements for children with special needs, including medically fragile children living in hospitals, who need foster parents who have knowledge of taking care of a variety of medical conditions. These children just need someone willing to give them some love and special attention. 

To find out the five easy steps to become a foster parent, call 212-676-WISH (9474).

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Foster mom Jill Mullings and her son Antwan at the Bronx Zoo
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Elizabeth Dilts

is currently pursuing a masters at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Dilts came to New York City from Shanghai, China, where she worked as an editor with the English-language City Weekend magazine. Prior to that, Dilts spent a year in Nanjing, China, with a bilingual, Mandarin-English magazine and a stint in Tianjin, China, with a business publication. Looking to use her Mandarin back in the United States, Dilts is covering Flushing, Queens, one of New York’s four Chinatowns. A native of Gary, Indiana., Dilts received her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Indiana University. While in China, she reported on Internet usage among young adults and the education issues faced by multi-ethnic children raised in China.