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 childs case manager, a variety of supports are available to Central Florida foster parents, ranging from drivers training to grief counseling. We are all part of the team caring for our communitys most vulnerable children. Our goal is to ensure that you always have somewhere to turn when you need answers and assistance.

To discover additional resources available to support teens and their caregivers, click here.

Embrace Families Community Based Care, Inc. is a community-based care lead agency contracted with the Department of Children and Families.

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

Nurse Care Coordinators

One Hope United / Children’s Home Society – Seminole – Sabrina Beharie – sabrina.beharie@embracefamilies.org

Children’s Home Society – Orange & Gulf Coast – Gladys Perez – gladys.perez@embracefamilies.org

Behavioral Health Coordinators

Children’s Home Society – Seminole – Justin Colson, MA – justin.colson@embracefamilies.org

One Hope United – Orange – Ashley Foster, MSW – ashley.foster@embracefamilies.org

Children’s Home Society – Orange – Valencia Jordan, MA – valencia.jordan@embracefamilies.org

Gulf Coast-Osceola – Amber Smith, LMHC – amber.smith@embracefamilies.org

Post-Adoptions/Diversion – Orange, Osceola & Seminole – Julia Eusebio, MSW – julia.eusebio@embracefamilies.org

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 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:

Orange/Seminole County Foster Children’s Association

Osceola County Foster Children’s Association

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.


There are many resources available to help refine and learn new parenting skills. Ask your Caregiver Support Manager about trainings available through Embrace Families. NOTE: Your Caregiver Support Agency is one of the following: Children’s Home Network (CHN), Children’s Home Society (CHS), Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, or One Hope United (OHU).

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 Caregiver Support Manager assigned to support your foster home. The Caregiver Support specialist will engage those involved — including case managers, therapists, Embrace Families’ and others — to schedule a time to work together to resolve the issue. NOTE: Your Caregiver Support Agency is one of the following: Children’s Home Network (CHN), Children’s Home Society (CHS), Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, or One Hope United (OHU).

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 Caregiver Support Agency 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 Caregiver Support Agency is one of the following: Children’s Home Network (CHN), Children’s Home Society (CHS), Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, or One Hope United (OHU).

“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.

Mobile Response Team — Contact Information 

Mobile Response Team — Statewide Map

What Teens Need

As parents we are very much aware that, as our children grow, so does the complexity of their needs.

For adolescents and teenagers, there is nothing more important than being surrounded by committed adults who understand where they are in life and who refuse to give up on them. For teens in foster care, many of whom have experienced childhood trauma and are without the safety net of a traditional family, this need is magnified.

Too often our teens in foster care are not getting the stability they need. And too often our teen caregivers are left on their own to navigate the complexities of caring for a young person who is wrestling with the impacts of adverse childhood experiences along with the many insecurities and heightened emotions so common at this age.

We must do more to ensure their success.

About TeenEmbrace

Embrace Families’ TeenEmbrace is a program designed with the needs of our teen caregivers in mind.

Like a big, trusty umbrella, this array of services provides an extra level of support and coverage to homes caring for children ages 13 to 17. The program is designed to wrap teens in foster care — and their caregivers — with the resources and support they need to increase stability of family placements and to enhance the well-being of the entire family.

Your Teen Support Specialist

Teen Support Specialists (TSS) provide an added layer of support for our older kids and their caregivers.

Your TSS is another caring adult prepared to do what it takes to help each child succeed. Their role includes direct connection with the teen to help facilitate youth transition meetings, coordinate vital documents, provide access to educational resources and work experience, and much more.

The TSS serves as a specialized resource for understanding the unique needs of the teenager in your care, navigating the often complex child welfare system, and serving as a sounding board for inevitable questions and concerns that those raising teens encounter.

Resources for our Teen Caregivers

CORE Teen Training
Training – Award-winning curriculum for prospective and current parents who are, or will be, raising older children from foster care who have moderate to severe emotional and behavioral challenges.

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training
Training – Flagship CPI training focuses on de-escalation techniques, risk assessment, and both nonrestrictive and restrictive interventions.

Caregiver Respite
Self-time – Experienced group of back-up caregivers with specialized training working with teens.

Resources for our Teens; Support for their Caregivers

Intervention & Treatment Program
Therapeutic Intervention – 24/7 response. Dedicated therapist involvement starts with youth, but includes support for entire household. Therapist actively involved in team working to stabilize placement.

DJJ Involvement
System Navigation – Specialist to support households/youth in the Juvenile Justice System. Attends court hearings, in touch with probation officer, assists with community service, resource to caregivers.

Life Skill Support – Additional positive role model, helps prepare youth for adulthood by teaching life skills and building healthy attachments.

Programs for our Teens; Support for their Caregivers

Keys to Independence
Skill Enhancement – Helps teens in foster care earn their permit and license. Provides driver training and insurance coverage.

Cars for Kids
Financial Assistance – Helps teens in foster care qualify for car loan at affordable rates.

High School High Tech
Career Exploration – Visits to work sites and academic programs to prepare teens for in-demand careers.

First Star UCF Academy
College Prep – Year-round, multi-year educational support program with on-campus live/work experience.

Work Experience – Paid Summer Apprenticeship Program

Breaks for Teens
Travel Experience – School Break Adventures and Field Trips

Educational Attainment – Educational coaching dedicated to achieving grade-level attainment and graduation.

Youth Advisory Board
Peer Support – Monthly gathering of peers offers engagement, leadership, advocacy, skill development and self-determination.

For More Information

Email youthservices@embracefamilies.org.

You are not alone!  A variety of training resources are available to help you navigate the complexities of raising children, especially those who have experienced trauma.





Continued Connections

Continued Connections Video

Continued Connections Resource Guide


Parental Adaptation

Parental Adaptation Video

Parental Adaptation Resource Guide


Parental Regulation

Parental Regulation Video

Parental Regulation Resource Guide


Relationship  Development 


Relationship Development Video

Relationship Development Resource Guide


Sexual Orientation,  Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE)


SOGIE Resource Guide

Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents


Child Welfare Information Gateway



Transitions Video

Transitions Resource Guide


Trauma Informed Parenting Part 1


Trauma Information Parenting Video Part 1

Trauma Informed Parenting Part 1 Guide


Trauma Informed Parenting Part 2


Trauma Information Parenting Video Part 2

Trauma Informed Parenting Part 2 Guide


Access past issues of this monthly newsletter, a resource for foster parents.