The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and its community partners have joined together to recognize and celebrate foster families and those who support them during National Foster Care Month.
“When you choose to invest in and enhance the lives of children and youth currently in foster care, you are giving them an opportunity to be successful; ultimately strengthening our communities,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Opening your heart and home to a child in a time of critical need is one of the most rewarding roles you can fulfill within your community.”
There are nearly 25,000 children currently in foster care in Florida. Each child needs love, security, and a strong foundation to build their life around. Foster parents change lives and offer hope to children who have been removed from their homes because they have experienced abuse or neglect and cannot safely remain with their parents.
“I so appreciate DCF ensuring children are removed from dangerous and critical situations,” President and CEO of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and One More Child, Dr. Jerry Haag said. “We continue to work to meet the desperate need for more foster parents to care for children who are broken physically and/or emotionally and for children who just need a safe space to call home. All children are a joy-filled promise of hope who are worthy and deserving of our greatest efforts.
In partnership with DCF, Florida’s community-based care (CBC) lead and provider agencies, work to recruit, license, and match children in need of foster homes. These organizations also provide numerous services based on the unique needs of children and parents in their communities, including health care, mental and behavioral health services, education, training, and other supplementary services.
“Florida’s foster parents play a vital role in the lives of the children we serve and are a testament to the investment our communities are making in ensuring every child in Florida is in a safe and loving home,” said Florida Coalition for Children CEO Kurt Kelly. “However, as we celebrate these thousands of generous families, we must also remember there are still thousands of children in need throughout the state. We hope by sharing the joy fostering can bring into a home, many more families will step forward.”
Throughout May, the Tallahassee Democrat has featured special guest columns by local foster parents and the difference it has made in their personal lives and community. To view the columns, visit the links below.