Florida Sees Growing Need for Foster Families, Training

In Florida, prospective foster parents work with local community organizations to complete the licensing process to become a foster parent.  Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.
In Florida, prospective foster parents work with local community organizations to complete the licensing process to become a foster parent.  Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – May is National Foster Care Month, and states like Florida are still adjusting to federal changes put in place three years ago.

The Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law in 2018 as part of a stop-gap budget bill, was backed by the belief children in difficult home situations fare best staying with their parents.

Kurt Kelly, CEO and president of the Florida Coalition for Children, a group that advocates for young people at risk, said the law was a game-changer.

However, he cautioned it was also a bit shortsighted, pushing kids out of residential or group care where they have access to 24-hour wraparound services.



Big Tech is censoring our publication severely reducing our traffic and revenue. (Wanna learn how they do it? NewsGuard) You can support our mission of truthful reporting by making a contribution. We refuse to let Silicon Valley crush us into becoming just another regurgitated, propaganda driven, echo-chamber of traditional news media and we need your support. You can also help by liking or sharing us on social media or by signing up for our featured story emails.
 

“That means we’re going to need more foster families,” Kelly explained. “And we’re going to need more foster families that have even more training and skill sets to be able to handle these more acute cases. And so, that’s an area we’re really working on.”

The most recent data show Florida has more than 22,600 kids in out-of-home-care. Bills that would’ve addressed such issues as licensure and operation of family foster homes, died in committee during the legislative session.

Kelly thinks foster families haven’t gotten enough thanks for stepping up to care at the most critical time for a child in need. He pointed out Florida’s foster parents are paid around $16 a day, so it’s a myth families are in it for the money.

“They bring them in, and they show true love and compassion, and care for them in a very deeply distrusting time,” Kelly observed. “In a child who doesn’t have the skill sets to handle all of this. And these folks are there for them.”

Kelly stressed more families are needed to be foster parents to older children in the system.

Florida gives young adults aging out of foster care the option for extended foster care or independent living. Those who “age out” at 18 can remain in care until they’re 21, or, if they’re continuing their education, they can tap into ongoing case-management services.

Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to corrections@publishedreporter.com and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)