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Increase in foster care homes in Florida

DCF and Community Partners Recruit more than 1,380 New Foster Families

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Children and Families as well as the Community-Based Care agencies have just announced that the state has more than 1,380 new foster families. According to the CBC and DCF, this year, Florida has a total of 4,845 licensed foster care providers -- 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 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 when recruiting foster parents.

Efforts led by the 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. The CBC agencies 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."

Despite the increase, Florida is still in need of more foster families in every community. Approximately 10,000 children are in foster placements throughout Florida.  To learn more information about how to get involved, check out the website.