You are not alone.

Relative caregivers, also called kin caregivers, step up to provide stability, structure and acceptance needed during what can be a scary and traumatic time for children. When a child is able to reside with a relative, they are more likely to find comfort in the people, community and culture that is most familiar to them.

At Embrace Families, we recognize that caring for a young relative may or may not have been an anticipated event, and that you likely have other important events happening in your life. We want to ensure that you are able to meet your own needs and have support in navigating the child welfare system. In addition to monthly visits from the child’s case manager, a variety of resources are available specific to your role as a Relative Caregiver. 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.

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 Relative Caregivers

Monthly Stipend

The State of Florida provides relative caregiver assistance funds for certain eligible caregivers. This is a monthly maintenance stipend, designed to supplement the costs of caring for a young relative. Relative Caregiver Assistance funds are paid directly to the caregiver by the State of Florida through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. You may apply online (English, Spanish or Creole) for benefits at ACCESS Florida or by calling the statewide call center at 1-866-762-2267. You may also request assistance in applying through contact Kinship Support Services (see Personal Support, below).

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

Level I Licensing

When a child is not able to safely remain at home with their parents, there is no better place for them than with a relative or trusted individual they already know.

At Embrace Families, we recognize that caring for a child (or additional children) may not have been anticipated and there are adjustments that will need to be made in your life. Our caregiver support partners are here to work alongside you and support you every step of the way.

One great benefit available exclusively to relative and non-relative caregivers is referred to as “Level 1 Licensing.” The benefits available to you as a licensed caregiver are substantial.

So, what does it take?
The Level 1 Licensing process includes participating in a home study, background screening for all adults living in the household, and completing online training to help understand the child welfare system. The process has been streamlined, making it possible to complete in just 60 days.

Embrace Families, your Caregiver Support Manager, and our team of experts are here to help you find answers and navigate the system, so that you can focus on meeting the emotional and physical needs of the children you have welcomed into your home.

For more information, please contact level1inquiries@embracefamilies.org.

Kinship Support Services

Our team of experts is available to you throughout this journey, so you can focus on meeting the emotional and physical needs of your young relative without sacrificing your own. In partnership with Children’s Home Network, Embrace Families offers a variety of resources through Kinship Support Services, including:

Family Support Coordinators

These specialized workers can link you to available resources, advocate for your needs, and help with applications for Relative Caregiver Assistance.

Kin Navigators

These advocates are current or previous relative caregivers, like you, and can help you navigate the complex child welfare system.

Support Groups

Kinship Support Services offers a peer support group in community locations within each county at least once per month. Childcare is available during support groups.


Kinship Support Services maintains a Facebook page with helpful information, support group calendars and other updates. Follow them online at https://www.facebook.com/chnkinship/.

Please contact your child’s Caregiver Support Manager if you would like a referral to Kinship Support Services.


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.

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.

You 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



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