Become a Foster Parent
You can make an extraordinary difference in a child's life by becoming a foster parent.
Dare Mentors, or foster parents, are at the heart of our agency's work. When children are removed from their own biological families due to abuse and neglect, they need to spend time in a nurturing, supportive home so they can begin to heal, trust adults and form healthy relationships.
Family Support and Stabilization
Dare Family Services provides family support and stabilization services to families involved with the Department of Children and Families. The services aim to prevent an initial or subsequent removal of a child from the home and to promote permanency. We provide these services out of our Somerville, MA office.
Intellectual Disabilities Programs
Dare Family Services offers programs to enable people with intellectual disabilities to maximize their independence and to provide for themselves. Every client in our care has an Individual Service Plan (ISP) that is overseen by a Department of Developmental Services (DDS) coordinator. The ISP objectives for each person are unique, focusing on specific areas of skill instruction and support that he or she needs to maximize independence.
> Residential Care
Dare Family Services has been providing staffed apartments for individuals with intellectual disabilities since 1977. Dare was one of the first human service agencies to pioneer these services.
We provide staffed apartments to individuals in Boston, Brookline, Dorchester and West Newton. The intensity of support ranges from 24-hour, 7-day-per-week services for some people to more limited care for others. Our staff works to determine the unique potential of each adult in our care. The goal of these programs is to teach the life skills that each person needs to live in his or her own home in the community.
> Program for Pregnant/Parenting Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Our transitional program in Dorchester provides housing and services to mothers with intellectual disabilities and their young children. The program teachers mothers life skills such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting. We provide instruction on parenting skills to enable mothers to care for themselves and for their children. The ultimate goal of the program is to guide these women toward independent living settings where they can parent and provide for their children and themselves within their communities.
If you have a family member or loved one with intellectual disabilities and would like more information on placing him or her in our care, please contact Jan Edeman at 617-629-2710 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pregnant & Parenting Teens Program
Our residential program in Newburyport, MA serves teenage mothers and their children. All of these young mothers are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and they come to us pregnant or with babies.
These teenagers have a strong desire to raise their children themselves and to live independently. However, their young age and family history would place their children at risk unless the mothers learn skills to effectively parent. Since many of these young mothers have been victims of abuse and neglect, they are at risk of continuing the cycle of abuse if they do not receive appropriate care.
Pathways to Independence
Young people who grow up in foster care live a fractured childhood, separated from their families after having endured the horrors of abuse and neglect. When they are forced out of state care based solely on their age, they face a grueling reality. While their peers continue to rely on their families for housing, money and guidance after they turn eighteen, former foster children often have no stable figures to help them transition to independence.
As reported by a Massachusetts task force in 2008, over one-third of the young people who leave foster care become homeless; one half become pregnant or impregnate someone; and well over half suffer from mental illness.