Safe Children Coalition in Need of More Foster Homes for Local Children
There is currently a critical shortage of foster homes in Florida’s 12th circuit for those children whose homes have been disrupted.
These children are in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties, have often been removed from homes due to abuse, neglect, substance abuse issues, incarceration or inadequate housing.
Drug abuse by a parent or caretaker is the top reason children enter into Safe Children Coalition’s system of care, followed by domestic violence in the home.
There are an average of three children – coming into care or moving within the system – requiring placement each day.
There are currently just under 170 foster homes in Circuit 12 but many more are needed to ensure a safe, caring and stable environment for children in the state care system. Safe Children Coalition is currently seeking additional foster homes to meet the overwhelming need.
Subsidies are provided – varying by the age of the child in care – for each child, in the $480-$580 range each month, plus clothing allowance stipends when a child comes into care as well as annually.
A household interested in foster care would need to complete 24 hours of professional parenting training, water safety training, and psychotropic medication training. There are also background screens, references, two home visits, and a comprehensive interview of all household members.
Prospective caretakers are paired with a licensing worker to walk them through the process to meet their home safety requirements and complete an assessment of the family to determine if they are a match for fostering. The goal is to license foster families within 90 days.
The need is so great at present due to the continuing opioid crisis as well as the closure of numerous homes, as families have dealt with the challenges of the pandemic. In addition to a higher-than-normal number of closures, many of the homes that are still open are currently on a break from fostering to focus on their own families in these challenging times.
Without sufficient foster homes, children often must be moved out of the area, which is not preferred due to the disruption it causes them, with regard to schooling, activities and medical care.
Safe Children Coalition estimates that an additional 40-50 homes would allow for further matching of children in need of care as well as cover any additional homes that close.
For more information or to inquire about becoming a foster parent, contact foster parent recruitment specialist Jeremy Gorzynski at 941-404-0079 or email@example.com.