TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Community-Based Care (CBC) lead agencies are on track for another record number of new foster parents recruited in the fiscal year. In the first six months, Florida has newly-licensed 687 foster homes.
“The Community-Based Care providers work diligently to recruit new foster parents to care for our state’s most vulnerable children. I am humbled and proud so many people are opening their hearts to give these children a family and a place to call home,” Secretary Mike Carroll said. “With that said, our work is not done. We are always in need of loving, nurturing homes for children who have been victims of abuse or neglect.”
CBC lead agencies throughout the state work to recruit, license and match foster parents with children in need of short or long-term homes. Each CBC works to address the unique needs of their communities in recruiting foster parents.
“Big Bend Community-Based Care understands that recruiting foster families is an arduous task that requires the assistance of the entire community. However, we are committed to keeping foster children in their home community,” Mike Watkins, CEO, Big Bend Community-Based Care. “Each month we recruit at least one church and one civic organization to help us find a local home for a local child.”
To help address foster parent retention and strengthen the partnership between child placing agencies and foster homes, the 2013 Florida Legislature passed and Governor Scott signed legislative changes to support a Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI). QPI provides training and strategies to improve child safety, permanency and well-being for children who are placed in Florida’s out-of-home care system.
Approximately 10,000 children are in foster placements throughout Florida. Foster parents change lives and offer hope to children who 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.
For more information on becoming a foster parent visit www.MyFLFamilies.com or contact the CBC in your area, http://myflfamilies.com/service-programs/community-based-care/cbc-map.