Fostering in Florida
Most children who are removed from their parents or guardians are placed with appropriate relatives until they can return home. However, if there are no relatives who are able to care for them, these children are placed in foster care.
Foster parents are highly skilled and respected members of a team who love and nurture children, support and mentor families, and strengthen their communities. Foster parents are committed, well-trained, patient, persistent and idealistic. Like every parent, they are part teacher, part doctor, part counselor and part advocate, all with the goal of helping children be safe and thrive.
The Department of Children and Families contracts with 18 community-based care partner agencies that provide prevention, intervention, foster care and adoption services. These agencies recruit and train the hundreds of families across Florida who serve as foster parents. But we need more. Teens, sibling groups and children with special needs are especially in need of more foster parents. Sadly, sometimes children can never return to their parents or caregivers and may age out of foster care, and then they wrestle with the challenges of young adulthood without the support of any family.
The state offers extended foster care and financial assistance for youth who age out of foster care, and many of these former foster youth are highly motivated and successful. Many community partners, churches, businesses and non-profit organizations support these youths. As a foster parent, you would have many resources and significant support to help a child succeed.
To get started, contact your local community-based care agency