WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Within a span of a few days, the Castronova family welcomed a son home from college, got ready for Mother's Day and expanded their family by one.
Just a few years ago, the Castronova family — parents Jodi and Darrick and their biological children Sam and Savannah — felt compelled to consider opening their homes to foster children as a way to live their faith. They adopted their son Isaac from Haiti. Then came Chari, adopted in September 2016 after she was placed in their care at just two days old. Last week, they formally welcomed her little brother Korey, now two-and-a-half, into their family, during a ceremony complete with glow sticks and a group of excited relatives.
There are 1,000 children in foster care in Erie County but just 150 homes licensed to provide care. The Castronovas want others to know that taking children in through the foster care system can be for a short time, in emergency situations or, as in their case, it can help make a family complete.
"Those facilities, they welcome people to just come visit with a child once a week, once a month or on a holiday,” Jodi said. ”There's everyone can do something. That's what I think we've come to realize more than anything."
A general information session for people interested in considering foster care is scheduled for June 13, hosted by Child and Family Services and free of charge.