BFP prepares for arrival of Haitian children
MELBOURNE, FL – Brevard County’s lead child welfare agency is making preparations to accommodate Haitian children who have been left homeless and without families following the recent earthquake that leveled the island nation’s capital and outlying areas.
Brevard Family Partnership is working closely with its partners and providers to assess its capacity in accepting children who have been displaced, due to the disaster. The agency is determining, among other things: the number of Creole-speaking personnel available to aid in translation and communication; current and future availability of space in licensed foster care and group homes; and the capability of its network to provide needed services and assistance.
At the request of the Florida Coalition for Children, BFP also is assembling staff members who will join other social service agency workers at Orlando Sanford International Airport to greet children and families arriving on several flights from Haiti. These staff, with expertise in assessment and service delivery will be able to determine the proper levels of care and courses of action necessary for each child or family.
“This is a situation that requires all of us to work together to quickly assess and administer aid and services to some of the world’s most vulnerable children,” said Brevard Family Partnership CEO, Dr. Patricia Nellius-Guthrie. “We, along with other community based care agencies throughout the state stand ready to do what we can to ensure that the children of Haiti who have lost their parents, relatives or the homes in which they lived have a place to go where they will be safe and secure during what is a very traumatic time for them.”
While there have not yet been any placements of Haitian children in Brevard, the agency is being proactive in contacting foster parents of Haitian decent and others that are familiar with the culture and customs of the Haitian people, so as to make any transition easier for children that may come into their care.
Geo A. Ropert, APR
Community Based Care of Brevard, Inc.
Dba Brevard Family Partnership
760 North Dr., Ste. E
Melbourne, FL 32934
Phone: 321-752-4650 ext. 2084
Cell: 321-205-3155 (preferred)