DCF and DEP Partner to Provide State Park Passes to Foster Families

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2015

DCF and DEP Partner to Provide State Park Passes to Foster Families
Passes for 15,000 foster families to enjoy Florida’s outdoors during National Foster Care Month

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), together with its community partners, have joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to celebrate foster families during National Foster Care Month. State Park passes will be distributed to 15,000 families throughout Florida to celebrate foster parents and the tremendous call they have answered to serve the community’s most vulnerable children.

“Florida is home to extraordinary families who have opened their homes and provided shelter, love and a normal life to children in crisis,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “These folks should be celebrated, not just this month, but every day. We can’t thank foster parents enough for what they do, and what they will continue to do for our children and as advocates for others considering embarking on the journey to foster.”

The partnership builds on an annual program that encourages foster children and their families to engage in outdoor recreation and supports them in the journey to lead more normal lives and create lasting memories with their foster families. Park passes will be distributed to foster parents throughout the state by Community-Based Care (CBC) lead agencies and local DCF offices.

“The Department of Environmental Protection is proud to join DCF and its partners to recognize the important role foster parents play improving the lives of Florida’s children and communities,” DEP Secretary Jon Steverson said. “Our award-winning state parks are a great place for families to spend time together and enjoy some of Florida’s most treasured natural resources.”

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. 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.

Florida’s 171 state parks and trails inspire residents and visitors with recreational opportunities and scenic beauty that help strengthen families, educate children, expand local economies and foster community pride. With 161 state parks and 10 state trails, families are attracted by the beaches, freshwater springs, historic sites and variety of recreational opportunities available.

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.

For more information on Florida’s state parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org.

Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, 850-717-4450
DEP Press Office, 850-245-2112