September 28, 2013

Essex County in need of foster parents

ELIZABETHTOWN — Becky and Bobby Provost have successfully raised three loving biological daughters, all of whom are now adults.

But Becky and Bobby made a decision 18 years ago to open their doors to other children in the community who face the challenges and difficulties that often arise in family settings.

The Provosts are foster parents for the Essex County Department of Social Services. Becky says she cannot count the number of children who have stayed at their home — either for a few days or for many years — to receive support that may have been shaky in their own homes.

“We never know how long they are going to be here: days, months, years,” Becky said from her home in Willsboro recently. “It all depends on the situation.

“Our ultimate goal is to reunite them with their families,” she added. “We work closely with the biological parents to help find a way so they can be reunited (with their children).”

It is always rewarding for the foster parent to help in the healing process when a child has developed a rift between his or her biological parents, said Becky, who feels a sense of pride and accomplishment when she can help a child during that time away from home and can initiate a reunion with the child’s parents.

“I love kids; I love helping them in any way I can,” she said. “Sometimes it’s tough working with the biological parents. Each case is different, but you’ve got to find a way to deal with everything as best you can. You just remember that you’re doing it for the children.”

Sometimes the best efforts will not result in a reunion between biological parents and children. Stephanie Burrows came to the Provosts 12 years ago as a foster child and has remained with them ever since.

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