Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis today recognized May 2020 as Foster Care Month in Florida, bringing statewide attention to children and families in the foster care system, while encouraging all Floridians to continue supporting each other during the current public health emergency.
“Florida is blessed to have over 6,700 foster families that have opened their hearts and homes to 8,150 children and youth,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Even in this time of stress and uncertainty, many families have committed to providing care for young people if they contract COVID-19 or they are exposed to the virus. That level of compassion and dedication is admirable, and as a father of three, I find it really moving.”
“All children deserve a loving home. As we continue to navigate through this public health emergency, we can’t lose sight of that; we must keep our foster families and youth top of mind,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Offer to drop off groceries at the front door or schedule a time to video chat – any kind gesture large or small can have a meaningful impact.”
Despite COVID-19, foster families are demonstrating resiliency, providing invaluable emotional support, and ensuring foster children and youth can safely connect with their biological families, as appropriate. Most are also overseeing distance learning, which was extended through the end of the school year – motivating the young people in their care to remain focused and achieve educational success.
“I’m so grateful for Florida’s foster families,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell. “Now more than ever, our young people need stability and reassurance, and most importantly, to know that they’re not alone. Fortunately, our foster care system is filled with loving, caring individuals, and I’m confident that they’re rising to the challenge.”
DCF contracts with 17 community-based care lead agencies (CBCs) throughout the state to provide a range of child welfare services, including foster care. These agencies recruit and train Florida’s foster families.
For more information about foster care and to learn more about how you can help Florida’s foster families, contact your local CBC or visit www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/foster-care/.