In life’s storms, supporting foster kids takes a community

Nov. 29, 2023

When storms sweep through the community, most people jump into planning mode — gathering supplies, filling the tank with gas and keeping one eye on the weather. For caregivers and case managers in Florida’s child welfare system, there is a bigger concern: making sure the 2,300 children in foster care on any given day have a safe place to stay until the weather clears. During recent storms affecting Central Florida, the challenge was even greater: more than three dozen foster children simply had nowhere to go. In a recent commentary featured on the Opinion page of the Orlando Sentinel, Embrace Families’ Amanda Reineck and Dominic Watson explain how case managers and foster caregivers become the “first responders” of the care system — setting aside their own plans and priorities to ensure the most vulnerable children are safe.