For Immediate Release: July 22, 2015
State Sees Increase in Foster Care Homes Over Past Fiscal Year
DCF and Community Partners Recruit more than 1,380 New Foster Families
TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Children and Families and Community-Based Care (CBC) lead agencies around the state are pleased to announce at the end of fiscal year 2014-2015, Florida has 1,384 newly-licensed foster care homes. The total number of licensed foster care providers this year is 4,845 – up 211 from last year.
“I am happy to see so many new families stepping up to the plate and offering a home to a child in need of a loving place to recover from the trauma they’ve experienced,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Having the unique opportunity to mold a child and be a champion in their life offers immeasurable rewards for everyone involved.”
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.
Efforts led by Devereux Community Based Care of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast led to a 45 percent increase in the number of homes licensed during the past year. They launched the “25 by 25” campaign to raise awareness for foster parenting and drive potential caregivers to their child-placing agencies. They also mobilized current foster parents behind the effort to write letters to the editor, submit foster-parent profiles to local newspapers and to speak at local events.
“We realized that we had some of the lowest numbers in the state in regard to foster homes, and we’ve worked very hard during the past 18 months to change that,” Devereux CEO Carol Deloach said. “We now have three child-placing agencies working with us, and two of those work exclusively – and very effectively – within the faith community.”
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, because they have experienced abuse or neglect and cannot safely remain with their parents. They play a significant role in helping families heal and reunite. When reunification is not possible they help children transition to a new home and a new family.
Florida is in need of more foster families in every community. Individuals and families wanting to learn more should visit www.MyFLFamilies.com/FosteringSuccess.