There's been a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes in the Tampa Bay Area over the past few years. And foster care agencies are struggling to keep up with the influx.
This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the challenges those who work in the foster care system are facing and how it impacts the children they serve.
We also hear how the opioid crisis is putting a strain on foster care in the region.
Our guests include:
Brena Slater, Vice President of the Sarasota YMCA’s Safe Children Coalition, which oversees foster care for Manatee, Sarasota and De Soto Counties.
Chris O’Donnell, reporter with the Tampa Bay Times who has done extensive coverage on foster care.
Yvonne Marrone, Community Outreach Coordinator with the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program in Hillsborough County.
You can keep the conversation on foster care going on our Facebook page or by emailing FloridaMatters@wusf.org.
Are you interested in becoming a foster parent? If you live in Sarasota, Manatee or De Soto counties, click here to learn how the process works. Click here if you live in Hillsborough, Pinellas or Pasco counties.
Would you like to volunteer as a Guardian Ad Litem? Call 813-272-5110, or if you are not a Hillsborough County resident, visit the statewide website to find your circuit and get involved.
If you have any concerns about potential abuse in your family or neighborhood, visit the Florida Department of Children and Families website or call the Abuse Hotline 1-800-962-2872.