Meet the Foster Care Team

When you’re a Northern Rivers foster parent, you’re never alone. There’s a whole team of skilled professionals with different specialties ready to help with any challenge. Each treatment team includes:

Homefinders develop an active recruitment plan for recruiting foster parents. Throughout the training process for potential foster parents, homefinders assess families’ ability to foster children as it relates to 12 skills of successful fostering. Once the foster families become certified, homefinders provide ongoing training and support for certified parents in conjunction with the foster care team.

Program coordinators provide the administrative supervision of workers in the foster care program. They oversee foster families and staff, and maintain relationships with counties in the region they serve. Program coordinators are responsible for matching foster youth with foster parents.

Permanency care managers provide case management of the children in care regarding their daily functioning in the foster care system, as well as in the foster home, during their journey toward permanency.

Clinicians provide assessment, treatment planning, and general counseling for children and families in foster care. Clinicians are available to our foster parents as a clinical resource and can provide group counseling to the foster family and foster youth.

Family support workers help with supervising birth family visitation and transportation needs including visits and appointments as needed, as well as provide occasional respite service.

Licensed practical nurses provide medical supervision.

As members of a nationally accredited agency, Northern Rivers’ foster care staff are some of the most highly trained, talented, and caring team of people in the industry. We proudly partner with many communities throughout New York state and have offices in Albany, Binghamton, Hudson, Johnstown, Queensbury, and Schenectady to ensure local support for our foster families in more than a 20-county service area.

Northern Rivers is now certifying and managing homes in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley Region, Mohawk Valley Region, the North Country, and the Southern Tier. Those interested in foster parenting should feel free to reach out to the homefinder who covers their county of residence.

  • Colleen Vogel, Director, Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention
    Colleen Vogel is the Director, Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention. Colleen Vogel’s team covers all 23 counties that contract with the Northern Rivers Foster Care program. She joined the organization in 2009, serving as a clinician in community-based programs and a foster care coordinator before being named to her current position in 2016. Before coming to Northern Rivers, she served in a number of clinical and case management positions for the St. Anne Institute in Albany. She earned her BS in psychology from SUNY Cortland and her MSW from the University at Albany.

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    518.346.4251 ext. 2211

Capital Region
Albany and Rensselaer Counties
Schenectady County
Hudson Valley Region
Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, and Ulster Counties
Mohawk Valley Region
Fulton, Montgomery, and Schoharie Counties
Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties
North Country Region
Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties
  • Lauren O'Connor, Homefinder, Queensbury
    Lauren O'Connor is a homefinder who joined Northern Rivers’ Queensbury office in 2022. She certifies and maintains foster families from Essex, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties. She previously worked as a health advocate and home visitor for Head Start in Saratoga. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication sciences and disorders from SUNY Plattsburgh.

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Southern Tier Region
Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Otsego, and Tompkins Counties
  • Chris Murray, Homefinder, Binghamton
    Chris Murray certifies and maintains foster homes in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Otsego, and Tompkins Counties. Chris joined the organization in June 2017 as a clinical case manager before transitioning to his current role. He previously worked at Catholic Charities, helping residents with daily living skills. He also was a director for Men’s Ministry, coordinating and planning service projects. Chris was a foster parent between 2008 and 2014, so brings valuable personal experience when working with our foster parents.

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  • Kelsey Chapman, Kinship Homefinder, Binghamton
    Kelsey Chapman is a kinship homefinder who joined Northern Rivers’ Binghamton office in 2022. She certifies and maintains kinship foster homes in Broome and surrounding counties. She previously served the foster care program as a permanency care manager, and has also worked as a foster care caseworker for Glove House and as a family advocate for the Crime Victims Assistance Center in Binghamton. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and human services from SUNY Potsdam.

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