Children in Foster Care Head Home for the Christmas Holiday

For Immediate Release: December 23, 2015

Children in Foster Care Head Home for the Christmas Holiday
More than 1,600 children visit relatives or are adopted in time for Christmas

TALLAHASSEE—The Department of Children and Families (DCF), its community partners and dependency judges statewide have worked together to ensure more than 1,600 children in foster care will spend Christmas with families and loved ones.

“Time with family around the holidays is the best gift we can give to our children, including those in foster care,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “An important part of our mission in serving families is to help bring joy to children and caregivers as they begin the process of healing.”

More than 1,347 children have been reunified or will visit with siblings, parents and extended family they have been apart from. Another 266 children will spend their first holiday with their new forever family through adoption. Combined with more than 1,400 children who spent Thanksgiving at home, this means more than 3,000 Florida children will spend the holidays with families because of this initiative.

The “Home for the Holidays” initiative works to expedite placements by finalizing adoptions with new parents and requesting amended visitation so children may spend time with their families during this special time of year. The initiative requires collaboration with community-based care lead agencies, attorneys, judges, guardians, foster families and case managers. In many circumstances, the effort requires expedited background screenings, court orders and travel arrangements. The state’s 18 community-based care agencies frequently pick up the cost of the children’s travel if the family is unable to do so.

For more information on how individuals can learn about fostering or adopting, visit www.MyFLFamilies.com.

Media Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, 850-717-4450

###