Paul Savramis recently announced that Rising Stars Youth Foundation had formed a partnership with community support agency Forestdale. In the following brief Q&A session, the RSYF founder answers a few questions about the organization and what this partnership might mean to the children in its care.
Q: What is Forestdale?
Paul Savramis: Forestdale is a family services organization. It was founded in 1854 as the Brooklyn Industrial School Association and Home for Destitute Children. Originally, its mission was to teach trade skills to children with no family support. Today, Forestdale serves as a child welfare agency, and it is the only one of its kind in Queens. It works within the foster care system to ensure the well-being of the most vulnerable children.
Q: What types of services does Forestdale offer?
Paul Savramis: The organization offers a number of programs to benefit children in the foster and adoption system. They offer casework and trauma systems therapy, and these services have been available for more than two decades. Further, through its family treatment and rehabilitation offering, Forestdale can help families touched by substance abuse and mental health issues reconnect.
Q: How can the community support this agency?
Paul Savramis: Financial assistance is always welcome. However, Forestdale is actively seeking foster home providers. A foster parent does everything that a biological parent does, including providing shelter, food, stability, and nurturing care in a safe and healthy environment. A foster parent may be long-term or short-term, and some foster parents go on to adopt.
Q: How will the partnership between Rising Stars Youth Foundation and Forestdale benefit children?
Paul Savramis: Both organizations believe that it takes a village to raise our children. Each works tirelessly to get our most at-risk youth an opportunity to break the generational cycle – poverty, gang violence, drugs – that threatens their future.