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As ‘Crisis’ Looms, We Praise Florida Foster Families in Protecting At-Risk Kids’ Needs

The Florida foster child care system can be a challenging place for foster kids – and foster families. Much as the state encourages families to volunteer to provide stable, if temporary, homes to these at-risk children, foster parents find a blend of reward and difficulty in their tasks.

It’s an unenviable situation across the board. A newspaper investigation found that 477 kids who were known to be at risk by the Florida Department of Children and Families were not removed from their homes. Instead, the agency has supported a policy of “family preservation,” believing that a safe natural family home is the best place for at risk kids.

We agree. But for those kids who are truly in harm’s way, removal – at least temporarily – often is the answer.

In the wake of the investigation, experts believe more kids will be removed from their biological families. If that’s the case, adults and families must be encouraged to become foster providers to nurture at-risk children as attempts are made to help biological parents create safe and nurturing homes for their children.

Read this Florida Weekly story on the successes and trials of foster families. You’ll discover who they are, why they care for at-risk children, how they’re treated – and mistreated – by the system, and why many have fostered dozens of children and even helped some biological parents become better parents to their children.

We applaud their efforts.

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