The Permanency Department at Family Services of NW PA recently started providing foster care services to children who need temporary care. The children involved in the foster care program can be any age and have been removed from their homes by the Office of Children and Youth due to issues of abuse, abandonment and neglect.

Amy and Nikki met two years ago and quickly decided they wanted to have children. Amy's parents took in foster children throughout her childhood, so she was very familiar with the process and had always thought about doing it herself. Nikki also knew she wanted a family one day.

At first, Amy and Nikki thought about adoption. But, after speaking with the Foster Care Recruiter at Family Services of NW PA and learning more about the program, they decided that becoming foster parents was the right path for them to take. "There are so many kids out there who need a loving home," said Amy. "We just wanted to be able to help someone else."

After becoming licensed foster parents, Amy and Nikki took in a five-year-old boy. "On the first day, after he saw his new bed and toys, he sat on my lap and told me he loved me," said Amy. "That just melted my heart."

Amy and Nikki recently found out they had the option to adopt their foster son. "We definitely had our ups and downs, but we took to it really well and instantly became a family." said Nikki. "We know that he completes our family and we love him."

The two women also recently welcomed a newborn baby into their home. "We are very connected with the baby and we love him," said Nikki. "We also know there is a good chance he will go back home at some point, and we really hope things work out."

Amy and Nikki both credit Family Services of NW PA with helping to complete their family. They credit all the caseworkers involved with being informative and supportive throughout the entire process. "Family Services has been wonderful," said Amy. "Without them, we wouldn't have the joy of having children in our home 24/7."

"This is a great program and I hope more people become involved," said Nikki. "It is heartbreaking to see so many kids that need a place to go."

Family Services of NW PA is a licensed Adoption and Foster Care agency. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a foster parent, please call Martine at 814-866-4608.