Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity for communities across the United States to highlight the experiences of over 400,000 children living in foster care in America and to recognize those who care for them by providing loving, nurturing, and safe healing environments.
Annually in Brevard County, we take this opportunity to applaud the extraordinary families who are making a difference in the lives of over 280 children each and every day. While the month of May is set aside to recognize our foster parents for their dedication and commitment to Brevard’s vulnerable children, they are children’s hero’s 365 days of the year.
What does it mean to be a foster parent? First, children are received into their homes at any given time, day or night. They are among the first responders to care for the children who have been removed due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect. They ensure the children are tended to by a physician within 72 hours, enroll them in school if there has been a change, they purchase their clothing and supplies, and tend to the trauma associated with removal from their parents’ home, community, and at times their school and friends. And that is all in week one. They also ensure the children are transported to receive treatment, visitation, and they mentor the children’s parents when safe and appropriate to do so. Foster Parents attend family team conferences, court hearings, clinical reviews, and visit with caseworkers and Guardian ad Litems. They transport the children to extracurricular activities and when they have teenagers placed in their home, they teach life skills. Last, but certainly not least, Foster Parents are the unsung heroes who make a lasting impact in the child’s life.
Our foster parents provide a much needed service and are a valuable resource to our children and families. For that reason, effective July 1, 2015 Brevard Family Partnership will be assuming the direct role of foster home management. That means we will be recruiting, training, licensing, managing and relicensing foster homes. We see this as a great opportunity to become better acquainted with, and strengthen our foster parent partnership and to fully implement the Quality Foster Parenting Initiative (QPI) “Respected Partners, Nurturing Children, Supporting Families, and Strengthening Communities.” into our system of care as standard practice. For more information on QPI: http://brevardfp.org/quality-parenting-initative.
Today, and every day, we salute Brevard’s foster parents, they are inspirational, sacrificial, caring, and extraordinary members of our community. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, please call 321-752-4650.