Massachusetts Department of Social Services and Garelick Farms Teams Up to Create Mobile Marketing Tour To Recruit Foster Families

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Garelick Farms and Massachusetts Department of Social Services team up to hit the road with the Add Something Fun Tour to encourage foster child care and wholesome family fun at Six Flag New EnglandÂ?s Kids Fest.

The Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) is joining Garelick Farms for the Add Something Fun Tour at Six Flags New England’s Kids Fest on June 26, 2004. The tour supports and promotes the rewards of foster parenting, good nutrition, and family entertainment. The free family will include the Garelick Farms Circus Cruiser complete with free samples and circus games.

“The Garelick Farms Add Something Fun Tour, now in its third year, seeks to assist in foster care recruitment throughout New England by bringing a team of social workers and great family entertainment to some of the area’s finest family venues. Last year the tour recruited record numbers of foster families and volunteers in New England,”´ states Derek Archambault, Assistant Marketing Manager, Garelick Farms. “Again this summer, we’ve expanded the tour in hopes of inspiring people throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine to open their hearts and their homes to a child in need. The need throughout New England is great with over 21,000 children in placement. The Garelick Farms Add Something Fun Tour hopes to make a difference, one child at a time.”

“There are nearly 8,000 children in foster care,” states Mary N. Gambon, Assistant Commissioner of Adoption and Foster Care Services for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. “The Department needs additional foster homes in every community across the state to meet the demand. The children who need foster care come from diverse backgrounds and varied experiences. The children range in age from infants to young adults. There is a greater need for foster homes for older children and teenagers; for children with developmental, educational and emotional needs; for children requiring medical services; for drug-affected infants and for siblings who should be placed together.”

The Department of Social Services provides temporary out-of-home care through foster care, group care or residential programs for those children who are unable to remain at home due to risky or unsafe conditions. When children are in one of the out-of-home care programs, the Department of Social Services provides guidance and support to families until the children can safely return home. For the nearly 8,000 children in placement, foster families are needed in every community across the state. Teenagers, in particular, are in need of permanent foster placements in the state. In cases where returning home is not possible, the Department of Social Services seeks an alternate permanent situation for each child, such as adoption, guardianship, or for older teenagers, independent living.

The Department of Social Services is searching for families and individuals who are willing to help foster children on a short or long term basis. The most crucial need is for foster parents for adolescents, siblings and medically involved children. Our goal is to keep children in their own communities where they can continue to attend their own schools, continue to participate in their extra curricula activities and maintain their friends. On any given day in Massachusetts, the Department of Social Services helps 40,000 children. More than 10,000 children live in foster care. An additional 13 children need placement each day.

The Garelick Farms Add Something Fun Tour’s long list of entertainment will include craft making, story-time, milk mustache photos, circus games, kids’ crafts, milk mustache poster giveaways, Garelick Farms flavored milk sampling, nutrition tips and recipes.

“The Garelick Farms Add Something Fun Tour is really excited to visit Six Flags New England’s Kids Fest,” said Archambault. “We look for the best family venues throughout New England and this festival certainly fits the bill.”

This summer, the Add Something Fun Tour will be bringing family fun to:

  •     Somersworth International Children’s Festival (June 18-19)
  • Dads Make a Difference Day, Boston Commons (June 20)
  • Kids Festival Weekend, Six Flags New England (June 26)
  • River Fest, Hartford, Conn. (July 3)
  • Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden, Springfield, Mass. (July 17)
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, R.I. (August 14)
  • Great Falls Balloon Festival, Lewiston, Maine (August 21)

For more information about becoming a foster family or volunteer contact the Massachusetts Department of Social Services at 1-800-KIDS-508.

Garelick Farms, headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts, is one of the largest dairies in the northeastern United States, with a proud tradition of providing quality dairy products to New Englanders since 1931. Garelick Farms offers a full line of quality dairy products, including fresh milk and cream, flavored milk, ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, as well as a full line of juices including orange juice, apple cider and lemonade.

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Kristy Phinney