fsri family service

‘Be There RI’ Ads Aim to Encourage More Foster Parenting

‘Be There RI’ Bus Ads Aim To Encourage More Foster Parenting in Rhode Island

The partnership between RIPTA and FSRI brings attention to the current foster care crisis. 
PROVIDENCE, RI– In a situation made worse by the continued impacts of COVID-19, there are hundreds of Rhode Island children and teens waiting for safe, loving foster homes, but there are not enough existing foster parents right now to meet the critical need. Some Rhode Island children are even finding themselves in residential programs out-of-state, or staying in hospitals, as they await more permanent foster arrangements.

To bring attention to this urgent issue, Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI) has partnered with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) on a state-wide foster care awareness campaign called ‘Be There RI.’ Together, they hope the month-long campaign will encourage more members of the community, no matter their stage of life, marital status, or background, to consider taking on this crucial role. Data shows that having a stable adult in life is crucial for early childhood development and future success in life, particularly those in the foster system.

‘Be There RI’ launches on February 10, and will be circulating on the sides of 30 RIPTA buses across the state. The large banners feature 10 childhood milestones, including losing a tooth, celebrating a birthday, learning to drive, and graduation, to show the rewarding moments of being there for a foster child when they need it most.

“We applaud RIPTA for their leadership in recognizing this is an urgent need in RI communities and for stepping forward to partner with us to do something about it,” said Margaret Holland McDuff, CEO of Family Service of Rhode Island. “It’s important to get the word out that foster parents can come from all walks of life. Married, single, partnered, and from diverse communities, FSRI takes pride in all families and our foster care program is LGBTQQI welcoming.”

In addition to the campaign, FSRI is asking the community to bring more awareness to the issue by sharing photos of the bus ads from around the state on their social media pages with the hashtags #BeThereRI#FosterFSRI and @Hello_FSRI.

“RIPTA is honored to partner with the dedicated team at Family Service of Rhode Island to help bring awareness to the need for foster parents in our state,” said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA’s Chief Executive Officer.  “These bus advertisements will provide high visibility and a consistent message, serving as a reminder that there is an increasing demand for families willing to open their homes and hearts to foster a child.”

FSRI also has other ways for the public to get involved in foster parent recruitment efforts.