An estimated 9,000 children are involved in the foster care system in Massachusetts.

In most cases, they have been removed from homes where they were abused or ignored.  The foster care system, run through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Familes, places these children in safe foster homes where they are given the care and attention they need.

Lori Pacheco, a foster parent here on the SouthCoast for four and a half years, said this week that there is still a significant need for more foster parents across the state, and here on the SouthCoast.

Pacheco and her husband do what is termed "short term foster care."

"We basically will have them from when they're first removed from their family, so we have kids anywhere from overnight to five months, and that's because there was no long-term home or family member that can take them," she said.

Long term foster care is also an option – and yes, foster parents receive a stipend from the Commonwealth.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, there will be pair of public information meetings on Saturday, November 5.

One will be held at the DCF office at Howland Place in New Bedford at 651 Orchard Street. The second session will take place at the Acushnet Public Library at 232 Middle Road. Both information sessions will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Personnel will be on hand to answer questions and explain the process.

"The rewards of providing daily care, guidance, and acceptance to a child are just immeasurable, and even if you make a difference in the life of just one child, it's so worth it," Pacheco said.

The complete Townsquare Sunday interview with Pacheco can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program that highlights individuals and organizations striving to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

The program airs Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

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