BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The Ross Park Zoo is teaming up with Northern Rivera, a local foster care agency in the area.
Staff says the amount of children in the foster care system has increased by 30% locally over the past few years.
To raise awareness, the group will host a booth at the zoo each weekend in May, and all foster families will receive a free membership to the zoo.
"There are lots of children communities involved in foster care to come into foster care because of some difficulties their families are having," Northern Rivers Executive Program Director Bill Marszalek told 12 News.
"Our goal is to help those families achieve permanency; we want to reunite families and we want to resolve some of those issues so we don't have to place children in foster care," he said.
Northern Rivers staff say if they do their job well, they hope their jobs are no longer needed.