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Raising a Child Takes a Team

Your role as a foster parent is best described as an anchor. Foster parents provide the stability, structure and acceptance needed during what can be a scary and traumatic time for the children who enter the dependency system. In a period of chaos, you are the anchors our children hold onto until they find permanency, either by safely returning home or joining a new forever family.

There is no one more essential to our system of care than you, who have opened your homes and your hearts to children when they need you most. While there are many rewards to fostering, there are also challenges. Sometimes you need an anchor of your own… and Embrace Families, along with our community partners, are here to make sure you have the support you need to weather any storm.

In addition to monthly visits from the child’s case manager, a variety of supports are available to Central Florida foster parents, ranging from driver’s training to grief counseling. We are all part of the team caring for our community’s most vulnerable children. Our goal is to ensure that you always have somewhere to turn when you need answers and assistance.

Resources to Support Our Foster Parents

    • Monthly Stipend: The State of Florida provides licensed foster parents with a monthly maintenance stipend, which is designed to cover the cost of providing food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child’s personal incidentals, liability insurance with respect to a child, reasonable travel to the child’s home for visitation, and reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement. Paid by Embrace Families on the last Wednesday of each month, the daily standard board rate is $19 per child.
    • Clothing Allowance: Embrace Families provides an annual school clothing allowance for all children in a licensed placement who have been in care for at least 30 days. After the annual clothing allowance is issued, if the child needs clothes, the case manager may access funding through the funding authorization request form, a procedure coordinated through the Embrace Families Utilization Management Department.
    • Medicaid Plan: Children involved in Florida’s child welfare system are eligible for Medicaid that covers the child’s health expenses. Embrace Families employs Nurse Care and Behavioral Health Coordinators, who are available to assist with coordination of medical, dental and behavioral health care for children and teens involved in child welfare

For more information:

  • College Tuition Waiver: Many teens and young adults in foster care are eligible for a tuition waiver to any college in the state of Florida that accepts Bright Futures. Restrictions and qualifying standards apply. For information, please email Embrace Families’ Education Manager at youthservices@embracefamilies.org.
  • Driver’s Permit/License: : Many teens and young adults involved in child welfare are eligible for assistance in obtaining their driver’s permit/license and insurance coverage. Restrictions and qualifying standards apply. For information: call 321-441-2060 or visit www.k2i.us
  • Foster Parent Advocates: Our team of experts is available to you throughout this journey, so you can focus on meeting the emotional and physical needs of your foster child and your family. Foster Family Advocates are current or previous foster and adoptive parents, who are available to assist Central Florida foster parents navigate through the complex system of care.  To reach an advocate:

     

  • Foster Parent Associations: Two local associations of foster and adoptive parents operate in the Central Florida Region. These groups meet monthly to provide guidance and emotional support, ongoing training, respite, or sometimes just an empathetic ear. For more information:

     

  • Foster Faces Facebook Group: Foster Faces is a safe space exclusively for licensed Central Florida Foster Parents. Members of this private Facebook group can find support, connect with other families and stay informed. Click here if you are interested in being a part of this community. Once you find us, please read the group’s rules and send a request to join.
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  • TrainingsThere are many resources available to help refine and learn new parenting skills. Ask your licensing specialist about trainings available through Embrace Families and your Child Placing Agency.
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  • Placement Support Staffing (PSS): Parents interested in scheduling a meeting to discuss a child’s behavioral issues, conflicts with case management, or any other issue, should start by contacting the Licensing Specialist assigned to support your foster home. The Licensing Specialist will engage those involved – including case managers, therapists, Embrace Families’ licensing manager, and others – to schedule a time to work together to resolve the issue.NOTE: Your Licensing Specialist is assigned through your Child Placing Agency (CPA), which is one of the following: Children’s Home Network (CHN), Children’s Home Society (CHS), Devereux, One Hope United (OHU) or One More Child.
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  • Grief Counseling: Along with the many rewards that come with fostering, it often hurts when a child you have cared for and loved leaves your home. Grief counseling services are available through Embrace Families to provide support as children transition from your home. To connect to this free-of-charge counseling service, start by contacting the Licensing Specialist assigned to support your foster home. Or, if confidential access is preferred, reach out directly to our counseling provider, Community Counseling Center of Central Florida, at 407.947.2901 or Corrie.KindylPhD@ccccf.org.NOTE: Your Licensing Specialist is assigned through your Child Placing Agency (CPA), which is one of the following: Children’s Home Network (CHN), Children’s Home Society (CHS), Devereux, One Hope United (OHU) or One More Child.
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  • “211” Mobile Crisis Unit (Orange, Osceola and Seminole): Devereux provides mobile crisis response, available 24/7/365 to help address health or behavioral emergencies involving children and young adults up to age 24 in our community. This free service is available simply by dialing 2-1-1. Help can be requested by anyone with the individual at the time of the crisis – parents, caregivers, family members, school personnel, first responders, etc. The response team arrives within an hour or less. Services include evaluation and assessment, development of safety or crisis plans, providing or facilitating stabilization services, supportive crisis counseling, education, development of coping skills, and linkage to appropriate resources. Visit the 2-1-1 website for more information. Please contact 911 in the event of a true medical emergency.