Foster and Adoptive Family Services
We believe that children in foster care are the community's children, with the same hopes and dreams of all children.

Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS) is a New Jersey nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The heart of our mission is to provide support, training and advocacy to meet the special needs of foster, adoptive and kinship families, who provide safe, stable and nurturing homes for children in foster care.

Children are placed in care because they are abused or neglected by their parents and it is unsafe for them to remain at home. With the help of caring people like you, FAFS helps bridge the gap between what the government can provide and what foster children actually need.


Your support changes foster children's lives for the better. Here's how you can:

  • Show a child in foster care he matters - Your $5.00 donation helps distribute lifebooks to foster families. A lifebook is a scrapbook of a child's experiences while he's in foster care; a place to keep letters from both birth and foster parents, photos and more. A lifebook gives a child in foster care a sense of identity and is proof that there are people in his life who care about him, even when he no longer lives in their home.

  • Warm a neglected child's heart during the holidays - Your $10.00 donation buys children in foster families new gifts for the holidays and helps throw a party where they can experience the joy and excitement of the season.(With the help of kind people like you, FAFS has hosted holiday parties and given gifts to over 2,000 foster families annually so far.)

  • Replace an abused child's sad memory with a happy one - Your $15.00 donation helps send a foster child to summer camp, where he can enjoy swimming and arts and crafts, make new friends, and sometimes, spend treasured time with a brother or sister living in a different foster home. (With the help of caring people like you, FAFS has sent over 200 foster children to summer camp so far.)

  • Comfort an abused child entering foster care - Your $20.00 donation gives a child a backpack filled with pajamas, a storybook, and a stuffed animal to cuddle for her first night in a new home. (With the help of kind people like you, FAFS has given out over 10,000 backpacks to foster children so far.)

  • Make a wish come true for a foster child - Your $25.00 donation gives a foster child the chance to take music lessons, play sports on their school team, buy a yearbook or even go to the prom. Your gift helps them experience the same fun and enriching activities as kids who aren't in foster care, boosting their self-esteem and feelings of belonging. (With the help of caring people like you, FAFS has granted over 1,300 wishes to foster children so far.)

  • Send a foster child to college - Your $50.00 donation allows youth aging out of foster care to attend college, live independently, and overcome the heartache of being abused or neglected to live a happy and successful adult lives. (With the help of caring people like you, FAFS has awarded 150 scholarships and grants to foster children so far.)

Your support, in any amount, makes all the difference.


FAFS Annual Report
FAFS Annual Report
FAFS 990




From the Beginning

In the very beginning, there were two foster families who decided to take action. They were Sue and Bernie Dondiego, Middlesex County, and Hattie Talley, Burlington County.

Their goal was to bring the voice of foster and adoptive families to the government leaders who made decisions regarding the lives of foster families and children in foster care. "We wanted an organization that would support foster and adoptive parents, advocate for their needs and the needs of children in their care, and provide training conferences, which would give them an opportunity to share experiences and acquire the skills needed to care for the children placed in their homes,” said Sue Dondiego, who now serves on FAFS' Advisory Council.

Founded in 1972 and incorporated in 1974, Foster and Adoptive Family Services is the leading statewide advocacy agency for foster and adoptive parents. FAFS plays an integral part in the development, training and support of New Jersey's resource parents (foster, adoptive and kinship).

What is Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS)?

The New Jersey legislature mandates that the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) remove children who are unsafe in their homes. Reasons for removal include a lack of parental supervision, abuse, neglect, emotional problems, and a parent's inability to care for a medically fragile child, among others.

Resource parents provide the care and support needed at a critical time in the lives of these children.

FAFS is governed by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. FAFS has resource parent volunteer leadership in every county through our Support Networks and Morris County Affiliate. FAFS has a committed staff and also has the support and guidance of our Advisory Council.

What is the mission of FAFS?

Our mission is to provide support, training and advocacy to meet the special needs of foster, adoptive and kinship families, who provide safe, stable and nurturing homes for children in foster care.

Our specific objectives and purposes are:

  • To promote an enhanced understanding of foster care and serve as a catalyst for positive advances in the foster care system.

  • To provide services, support and training opportunities for foster, adoptive and kinship families, and others having the responsibility for and/or the interest in the well-being of children. This may include members of the community.

  • To develop and distribute educational, training and other resource materials to private charities, government agencies and others interested in the well-being of children. FAFS' dedicated volunteers and professional staff work relentlessly as frontline advocates to serve foster and adoptive families in an objective and empathetic manner. We strive for excellence, and we build trusting relationships with all those we serve.

We provide:

  • Toll-Free Information Line (Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm)

  • Advocacy/Support Services

  • Liaison/Mediation Services

  • Information Resources

  • Referral Services

  • Education/Training

  • Public Awareness/Recruitment

  • Recreational Fund

  • Scholarship Fund

  • Community Based Support

FAFS' hours of operation are Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

What are FAFS' Guiding Principles?

FAFS' dedicated volunteers and professional staff work relentlessly as frontline advocates serving resource parents in an objective and empathetic manner. We strive for excellence, and we build trusting relationships with all those we serve.

How does FAFS help resource parents?

FAFS helps resource parents by providing support services and training. All of FAFS' services are free to licensed resource parents in New Jersey and those in the process of becoming licensed. All information provided to FAFS is confidential. To access any of FAFS' services, call 1.800.222.0047.

FAFS also manages the New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program (NJFC Scholars), funded by the federal government, which assists current and former foster youth in their pursuit of a higher education. Some adopted youth may also be eligible to receive awards. Each application is processed on a case-by-case basis.

Private contributions have allowed FAFS to organize an annual statewide Holiday Gift Drive to benefit children in foster care. Gifts are distributed to children with the assistance of our Support Networks and Affiliates. FAFS also supports our Fostering Wishes for Children Program, Camp Scholarships, and private scholarships for both independent living and academic pursuits.

FAFS also helps resource parents by providing information through our publications, including Resource Parent Fact Sheets, and our newsletter, Connections. In addition, we regularly issue Press Releases to keep you informed. Because a picture truly is worth a thousand words, we invite you to visit our Photo Album.

In addition to contracted services, FAFS has very active committees, and we are especially proud of our Legislative advocacy. FAFS regularly issues position statements on many issues.

Please see our Calendar of Events for more information on FAFS' activities.

How does FAFS conduct its business?

Our guiding principle:

FAFS' dedicated volunteers and professional staff work relentlessly as frontline advocates serving resource parents in an objective and empathetic manner. We strive for excellence, and we build trusting relationships with all those we serve.

How can I help a child in need?

You can become a foster parent in NJ. Call 1.800.222.0047 to complete an inquiry.

There are other ways you can also help:

You can become a member of FAFS. You can become active in one of FAFS many committees. You can donate to our programs that benefit resource families and children in care. We also host fundraising events that benefit our families. FAFS sometimes offers volunteer opportunities. We welcome you to join us. Together we are stronger!