73 year old Lizzie Burrows has taken care of dozens of foster kids for more than 30 years.
"She is the Nana I always wanted cause you know she understood me, you know she didn't label me as a rebellious teenager," said Burrows.
Twenty year old Crystal Smith has been in and out of eight different foster homes since she was nine years old. In her birth home there were seven kids, three of them entered foster care.
"I was taking care of my brother and sister used to wash their clothes by hand, used to steal food for them cause my mom wasn't able to provide it because people told us she used to suffer from schizophrenia and depression,” said Smith.
Smith's school noticed and paired her up with New York Foundling, the City's oldest and largest nonprofit organization serving disadvantaged families and youth. But Crystal ran away from almost every foster home back to her mother, until she was told there was one last place she could try.
"She was only supposed to be there for two weeks, and look at this, she's still here,” said Burrows.
Burrows has two birth children of her own, along with several grandchildren and great grandchildren. But she has faced her own tragedies, losing her grandson in a crash. But Burrows has never stopped caring for others, and specializes in looking after terminally ill kids with those with special needs.
“Every child who comes through that door, are you hungry?” said Burrows
The Agency says they need more people like Burrows. There are around 10,000 kids in New York City's foster care system.
On Staten Island, New York Foundling has around 250 kids in care at any given time, but half the number of foster parents.
Meaning foster families are taking on at least 2 kids.
As you enter the New York Foundling building, the sign says "Abandon No One," That's what the agency tries to do, they're always looking for families to step up and foster a child.
There's a big need for teenagers too a lot of times people don't want to work with teenagers they want to work with a baby or school aged child,” said Shand Lewis, a Senior Case Planner with New York Foundling.
“You’re gonna be on your own pretty soon, said Burrows.
Smith is now in College and will be moving out on her own, but just like it is for all Burrows kids, the door is always open, and she vows to be a foster parent looking after others for as long as she can physically can, though Smith wants to change that.
“She takes care of them, and this time, I wan’t to take care of her,” said Smith