Governor and First Lady DeSantis, along with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC), joined partners across the state to recognize May as National Foster Care Month in Florida. [Read more…] about Governor and First Lady DeSantis Recognize May as National Foster Care Month in Florida
National Foster Care Month
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.
The Florida Department of Children and Families, along with its community partners, have joined together to honor foster families during National Foster Care Month. This annual celebration recognizes all foster parents, foster family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and others in the foster-care community, who play a significant role in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care.
“So many children have a place they call home because of the selfless acts of current foster parents,” Secretary Mike Carroll said. “There are so many opportunities to participate in the foster care system, and I encourage you to take the first step and contact a local community partner to see how you can get involved.”
As of January 2017, Florida has 23,596 children placed with relatives, family friends, family foster homes and group homes. Many foster parents pursue additional training to become medical and therapeutic foster parents. In addition to those children in foster care, there are 899 children are available for adoption.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Director Barbara Palmer said, “Providing quality foster care to children in need, including those with disabilities, is vital to our state. In celebration of Foster Care Month, APD will be launching a campaign to encourage more families to become foster families for children with developmental disabilities. APD’s Family Care Council members will be available to these new foster families to offer advice and their experience in rearing children who have disabilities.”
Many of these foster children have been removed from their homes by no fault of their own, but because they have experienced abuse or neglect and cannot safely remain with their parents. Foster parents change lives by offering love, compassion, and hope to some of Florida’s most vulnerable.
Community-Based Care (CBC) lead agencies throughout the state work to recruit, license and match foster parents with children in need of short and long-term homes. Each CBC works to address the unique needs of their communities in recruiting foster parents.
For more information on becoming a foster parent visit http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/foster-care or contact the CBC in your area at http://myflfamilies.com/service-programs/community-based-care/cbc-map.