75 children find “forever homes” – 25 new foster families open their homes to care for youth

IMG_3666MELBOURNE, Fla. — Brevard County continued to demonstrate that its residents have the compassion and capacity to provide homes for abused and neglected children who need a safe place to stay temporarily or permanently. In its just completed fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 Brevard Family Partnership, Brevard County’s lead agency for child welfare reported that 25 new foster homes were licensed and 75 children and teens were placed with adoptive families in “forever homes,” exceeding both goals set by the State of Florida Department of Children and Families.

Annually, the department provides local community based care agencies the goals, based on data that are tracked as part of their contract performance measurements. Brevard’s 2013-2014 goals were to license 23 new foster homes and place 72 children with adoptive families. Brevard Family Partnership works with its child placing and foster parent recruitment partner Devereux Florida, and its adoption partner IMPOWER.

“We can’t say enough about the kind, compassionate and caring members of our Brevard community who have become foster and adoptive families, as well as Devereux Florida. And IMPOWER,” said BFP’s CEO Dr. Patricia Nellius. “Children who have been removed from their homes need safe and stable places where they can stay until reunified with their parents or guardians, or in the cases where they cannot reunify, be adopted and become part of a ‘forever family’.”

In Florida, the state’s Department of Children and Families announced that at the end of the same fiscal year, Florida has 1,463 newly-licensed foster homes statewide. The total number of licensed foster care providers this year is 4,678, up 291 from last fiscal year. Approximately 10,000 children are in foster placements throughout Florida; 202 are in licensed placements in Brevard.

“We are very pleased that the number of foster care providers in Florida has increased yet again,” Interim Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Our regional partners and community-based care providers have done a fantastic job recruiting these new placements to care for our state’s most vulnerable children in their time of need.”

CBC lead agencies throughout the state, including Brevard Family Partnership, work with local organizations to 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 in recruiting foster parents.

Foster parents change lives and offer hope to children who have been removed from their homes by no fault of their own, but because they have experienced abuse or neglect and cannot safely remain with their parents or legal caregivers.

For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent, visit www.brevardfp.org or www.MyFLFamilies.com or contact Brevard Family Partnership at (321) 752-4650.

About Brevard Family Partnership

Established in 2004 by a Legislative mandate to privatize foster care and related services in Florida (Section 409.1617, Florida Statutes), Brevard Family Partnership is Brevard County’s lead child welfare agency. Working in partnership with over 70 community organizations, its mission is to protect children, strengthen families and change lives through the prevention of child abuse and the operation and management of a comprehensive, integrated, community-based system of care for abused, abandoned and neglected children, and their families.