May is Foster Care Month: Hilda Nunez Opens Her Heart and Home to Teens
Hilda Nunez, a case manager for a nonprofit that serves the elderly, has been a foster parent for almost a decade, but it might never have happened if she hadn’t talked to her neighbor one day.
That neighbor, in Hunts Point in the Bronx, saw how Hilda was around children, and she suggested that Hilda become a foster parent.
But Hilda’s reaction was unusual. “I said, ‘I want teenagers,’” and not younger children, like many foster parents. “They’ve always been around me,” she said, mentioning her kids, and later her grandchildren.
The young people who have found their way to Hilda’s home have been fortunate. “Almost all of them have graduated from high school,” she said. “Two are going to college.”
Today, Hilda has opened her home to four children, three of whom have been with her for two or more years. “Every day is a challenge,” she said. “Teenagers are teenagers. But I like knowing that they’re going to be somebody.”
They don’t all come to Hilda with a can-do attitude, but she does her best to instill it. “I tell them, ‘Don’t say you can’t do it, because you can,’” said Hilda. “‘ I don’t care what anyone else tells you.’”
This is exactly what so many teens in foster care need. Thanks, Hilda.
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.