FOSTER PALM BEACH
From Diana Reese, Volunteer Child Advocate, Guardian ad Litem...
So today is my "37th" birthday and here's my wish: That we work together as a community to help children in tough situations. This story is a perfect example.
My friend Maria Bond knew Jazzie from her days interning at Friends of Foster Children of Palm Beach County, Inc. When Jazzie took on the parental role of caring for her four younger siblings along with her own one year old, Maria shared WPTV's story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEW5l2k1AnI&feature=youtu.be).
I and my friends at Speak Up for Kids Palm Beach County, Foster Palm Beach, & Guardian ad Litem Program-Palm Beach County, Florida, Coleen LaCosta then started to share. My friends at Keller Williams Palm Beaches put together a fundraiser at the KW offices. Donations started coming in to help this family stay together.
We asked our friend David Chirico from Networking to Help Children to share with his supporters. We had several people make donations, dropping off clothes, (special thanks to Maryanne Hedrick), and then Realtor Maria Colandrea called and said she was doing a fundraiser in her neighborhood. She collected gift cards, clothes, and shoes that the girls loved! Then Maria found out the girls needed proper beds and she went to work getting her friends and neighbors to donate the bunk beds you see here, plus the mattresses, plus the bedding, and curtains, and more supplies. And she's still going - texting my phone with more as I write.
In addition to helping this family, one of her donors had bunk beds to give which were too big for Jazzie's place so I reached out to some of our Foster Parent Licensing agencies to see who needed bunk beds to be able to license a prospective foster family. Within 60 seconds of sending that email, both sets were gone. [We do still need a truck to move them pretty please]
So this is community working together for a brighter future and bringing smiles to children's faces!
Thank you 🥰
Martin COUNTY FOSTER CARE LICENSING, FOSTER PARENT TRAINING, FOSTER HOME INFO IN 19th Judicial Circuit
In response to the many inquiries of which agencies license foster homes in Martin, Okeechobee, or St. Lucie Counties, please find the following info. Note that this site is designed to facilitate Palm Beach County foster home recruitment but we want to help all kids so if you have issues finding an agency, call. We'll do the leg work for you.
Lead Community Based Care Agency (DCF designated agency who oversees licensing subcontractors https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/community-based-care/lead-agency-websites.shtml):
Communities Connected for Kids
1860 SW Fountainview Blvd, Suite 200
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
4KIDS of the Treasure Coast (Faith-Based)
50 NE Dixie Hwy, Unit A4
Stuart, FL 34994
772-206-0746 / 772-419-8831
Camelot Community Care, Inc.
Foster Care Recruitment & Licensing Supervisor
1801 SE Hillmoor Drive, C-106
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
772-226-6235, ext. 38104
Camelot Community Care Treasure Coast Orientation Schedule:
Third Thursday of each month at either 10:00 am or 6:00 pm
Mount Bethel Human Services Corp, Inc.
Treasure Coast Office
613 Camden Ave.
Stuart, FL 34994
Place of Hope
St. Lucie & Stuart Locations
Place of Hope Treasure Coast Orientation Schedule & Locations:
Treasure Coast – Port St. Lucie
EVERY 3RD THURSDAY
10250 SW Village Pkwy
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34987
Treasure Coast – Stuart
EVERY 1ST MONDAY
Christ Fellowship Stuart Campus
10205 SW Pratt Whitney Rd.
Stuart, FL 34997
Please RSVP on their website: https://www.placeofhope.com/foster/
ADOPTIONS in Martin, Saint Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River Counties are through Children's Home Society. Here's a link to the CBC's info: http://www.cckids.net/adoptions/
Broward County Foster Care Licensing, FOSTER PARENT Training, Foster Home info in Fort Lauderdale area
In response to the many inquiries of which agencies license foster homes in Broward County, please find the following info. Note that this site is designed to facilitate Palm Beach County foster home recruitment but we want to help all kids so if you have issues finding an agency, call. We'll do the leg work for you.
Lead Community Based Care Agency (DCF designated agency who oversees licensing subcontractors):
1100 West McNab Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
4KIDS of South Florida, Inc. (Faith-Based)
352 N.W. 4th Street
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Click here for class schedule
Camelot Community Care, Inc.
Director of Foster Home Management
Camelot Community Care Inc
1925 South Perimeter Road, Suite 120, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33309
Camelot Community Care FLL Orientation Schedule 2019: 1st Tuesday of every month at 10am or 6pm - January 8th, February 5th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th, June 4th, July 2nd, August 6th, September 3rd, October 1st, November 5th, December 3rd
KID Inc. (formerly Kids In Distress)
819 NE 26th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
KID Inc. Broward County Orientation Schedule: 7pm - January 10th, March 21st, May 30th, August 8th, October 17th. Click here for link to class schedule.
Mount Bethel Human Services Corp, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale Office
1100 W. Sunrise Blvd.
FortLauderdale, FL 33311
National Youth Advocate Program
700 W Hillsboro Blvd
Building 2, Suite 205
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Pinnacle Family Services
351 West 136 Avenue, Suite 2017
Davie, Florida 33325
Felix Santiago, Broward (& Miami) Program 844-204-1242
800-421-2031 Ext. 2006
A great article frOM "Inc." Magazine: Thinking of Becoming a Foster Parent? Here's What You Should Know
"The toughest part about being a foster parent is the uncertainty. We never knew how long a child would be in our home and we never knew for certain where a child would go next."
"The best part about foster parenting was seeing a child get to be a kid. When they laughed really hard at something silly or when they went to summer camp, they got to experience a few of moments of a childhood joy, even though they'd been robbed of a normal childhood."
Our goal is to make the process to foster children or learn about being a forever family as easy to navigate as possible. The oversight for Palm Beach County's foster children and licensing is through the Florida Department of Children and Families' (DCF) designated Community Based Care (CBC) Provider: ChildNet which handles both Palm Beach and Broward Counties.
In Palm Beach County, the foster home management and licensing training is subcontracted by ChildNet through eight difference service providers. The goal for Speak Up For Kids' Foster Palm Beach Program is to connect you with a licensing provider as conveniently and quickly as possible.
Steps to becoming a foster parent or learn about adoption:
Step 1: Attend an orientation. Visit our upcoming events page to schedule the next information session or orientation. Events are held through Palm Beach County several times a month.
Step 2: Sign up for the next training class and complete the 21-30 hours of foster parent training.
Step 3: Complete the child abuse and criminal background check process.
Step 4: Participate in a home inspection.
Step 5: Complete a homestudy through your licensing provider who will help ensure your home is ready to provide a safe and caring environment for children.
Step 6: Wait patiently. Once all of the above are completed, the licensing provider will complete their portion of the paperwork, then submit for several levels of review. The process typically takes 3-6 months and the more diligent you are about completing the paperwork and readying your home, the more smooth the process and more quickly you will be able to help a child in need. Every aspect of the process is centered around providing a safe place for children to heal, grow, and thrive.
Click for info on the following:
National Reunification Month is celebrated each June, it is a time to celebrate the people and efforts that make it possible for families to stay together. Reunification is the most common and desirable outcome for children and youth in out-of-home care. Reunification takes work, commitment, and investment of time and resources by parents, family members, social workers, attorneys, courts, and the community. Every year hundreds of thousands of children are successfully reunified with their families.
This month let us acknowledge the important accomplishments of parents and the many professionals who work on getting children home safe after they have been in out-of-home care.
Learn more: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/reunification/
Speak Up for Kids' mission is to ensure that every abused, abandoned and neglected child in Palm Beach County is provided with a court appointed advocate, with the intention that they don’t get lost in our overburdened legal and social service system. They accomplish that mission by partnering with the 15th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program to assemble a team that includes an attorney, a case coordinator, and a volunteer child advocate. This team works side by side throughout the dependency proceedings, following him or her during their stay in the foster care system.
Seeing the ongoing need for more foster parents, Speak Up For Kids created the Foster Palm Beach program, a community-wide approach to raising public awareness about the critical need for foster families to care for Palm Beach County’s children.
Foster Truths... Question: What happens when a White mom fosters a Black daughter and has no idea how to maintain her daughter's hair?
Last week we were honored to participate in Grace Fellowship - "A Church for all Nations" Take Heart 2019 event. The stories shared by the foster parents were impactful because the speakers were so transparent about their experiences. And the topics we discussed were not easy.
Question: What happens when a White mom fosters a Black daughter and has no idea how to maintain her daughter's hair?
Answer: Community steps in, envelopes that family in love and understanding, and works to bridge the gap. That is what Tamekia Swint of Illinois-based Styles 4 Kidz did. Heart warming endeavor!
Answer: In so many ways... Integrating new additions to a set family dynamic is always challenging. This article "How Foster Care Affects Your Biological Children" from Starting Parenting Over gives great insight into what to expect. And, in keeping with our commitment, the author doesn't sugarcoat anything.
Foster Palm Beach's Centralized Foster Home Recruiter is a program of Speak Up For Kids of Palm Beach County created through a Children's Service Council Great Ideas Initiative grant to address the critical need for foster parents in Palm Beach County.
Speak Up For Kids is committed to providing every vulnerable child in Palm Beach County with a voice to advocate for their physical, educational and emotional best interests. Any financial support should be made directly through: www.SpeakUpForKidsPBC.org