Brevard County Dependency Court Judge Charlie Crawford will celebrate Family Reunification Day on Friday, June 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in his courtroom at the Moore Justice Center – 2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera. The event will honor those parents who have successfully completed a case plan and regained custody of their children.
Family Reunification Day serves as recognition of families who have demonstrated great accomplishments after being affected by substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
In a statement regarding Reunification Week, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary, George Sheldon said, “These families made their homes safe in order to be reunited with their children. These parents are heroes to their children and examples to each of us. Essential to parents’ success is immediate access to services such as substance abuse and mental health treatment, economic assistance and parenting training. Substantial credit for this success goes to our community-based care partners and each of their dedicated employees. These local agencies are the foundation of Florida’s child welfare system. The results are best seen in the individual faces of children and their families, but the numbers provide a sweeping overview.”
In the past three years in Brevard County and throughout the state of Florida:
• 209 children in Brevard and more than 12,000 children in Florida have been adopted out of foster care.
• 260 children in Brevard and 15,000 children in Florida have been placed in permanent guardianships, often with relatives.
• Children in foster care have been safely reduced by over 50 percent in Brevard, from a high of over 1,500 to less than 700 today; and nearly 11,000 throughout Florida – a 37 percent reduction.
• 480 children in Brevard and more than 29,000 children in Florida have been reunified with parents.
• The length of time for children to safely reunify with parents has been reduced.
“Research has shown that the majority of children and youth who grow up in foster care and do not achieve permanency with a family are more likely to experience a life of homelessness, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment and incarceration,” said Judge Crawford. This day will be a celebration of parents, who proved that with a little help, strength, perseverance, and love they could overcome the drug addictions, mental and health issues, and life’s most disastrous tragedies to be reunited with their children and provide them with healthy and nurturing homes.”
Geo A. Ropert, APR
Director of Communications
Brevard Family Partnership and Brevard C.A.R.E.S.
760 North Dr., Ste. E
Melbourne, FL 32934
Phone: 321-752-4650 ext. 2084
Cell: 321-205-3155 (preferred)