May is Foster Care Month: Geraldine Williams does not like a quiet home

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Several years ago, that was what she came back to each night after work. The youngest of her four children had moved out. Her husband had recently passed away. She was missing something.

“I needed some kids in the house,” said Geraldine.

So she called The Children’s Aid Society to learn about foster care. “I wanted one little girl,” she said. Not too long after she had gone through the classes and gotten state approval to become a foster parent, she received a call. “They had a baby girl, and I was so happy.”

She started to make preparations. Geraldine had retired after a 25-year career working at a bank, and she was then working as a home health attendant. But that would soon change.

“My caseworker called me and said that there were siblings,” said Geraldine. “I said, ‘How many?’ Four. And I thought, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t want to break them up.”

Geraldine wasn’t sure what to expect when these children showed up, but she did think they’d be quiet and reserved at first. She was wrong. “They were so full of joy, they were bubbling,” she said. “These kids came with stories.”

They also came with their own ideas about how this would work, but Geraldine had rules and she didn’t waste much time before sitting them all down to get everything straight. And that’s really what they were looking for.

A day later, they were calling her Mom.

They’ve been with her for two and a half years, and they’re doing great. Aged 2, 9, 10 and 13, the kids are doing well in school and they have solid relationships with both their birth parents. “They lift me up every day,” said Geraldine. “We’re learning from each other. We have good days and we have bad, but the good outweigh the bad.”

And you don’t need a quiet home to expand your family. “I encourage everyone,” said Geraldine. “These kids bring joy into your life. You bring a child into your home and that child can blossom into what he’s supposed to be.”

The Children's Aid Society serves more than 300 children in its foster care programs, including specialized services such as Family Foster Care, Medical Foster Care, Therapeutic Foster Care and services for teens aging out of foster care.

Consider opening up your heart and home to ensure a brighter future for a youth in foster care that may otherwise become neglected and disconnected. 

  • Applicants must be over the age of 21 and can be single, married or in a domestic partnership.
  • Applicant must be self-sufficient. Applicant’s income can be from employment, pension, or social security.
  • Applicant must complete a state screening/background check.
  • Applicant must complete 30 hours of Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) training, basic training for all foster parent applicants.
  • Applicants must be in good physical and mental health and have completed physical exams for every household member. Applicant must be the lease holder to his or her own apartment or home.
  • Applicant must identify an emergency child care person.

Learn more about how you can become a foster care parent or please call us at 212-949-4962.