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foster care

Foster Homes Overwhelmed By Opioid Epidemic

Feb 16, 2018

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

When lawmakers arrived at the Florida Capitol on Monday, they found thousands of cutouts of brightly-colored children's hands hanging in the rotunda, signifying the start of Children's Week.

Florida lawmakers are working on a measure they hope will help the children of incarcerated parents move forward faster. Fort Lauderdale Democratic Representative Patricia Williams has a bill she says would help to map out a plan for parents and their children.

Unless Florida lawmakers act, an organization created to aid in the efforts of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program is set to expire later this year.

As the opioid epidemic swells the tide of abused and neglected children coming into the state foster-care system, a Florida judge is trying to find them a "forever" home, in time for the holidays.

A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents.

The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.

Governor Rick Scott says he wants about $200 million for Florida families who adopt foster kids.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we're taking another listen to our discussion about foster care in the region.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Manatee and Sarasota Counties have seen overdose deaths from drugs like heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil spike in the past few years. At the same time, the number of children being removed from their homes and placed into the area’s foster care system has skyrocketed. There’s a connection between the increases.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

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.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

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.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

As Health News Florida reported last week, the opioid crisis in Manatee and Sarasota Counties is putting a strain on their foster care system. But the situation isn't entirely bleak. Now we'll hear from one mother whose relationship with her son's foster parents helped her reunify her family and overcome her addiction.


Changes to Florida’s child-welfare system, sponsored by Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine), are finally law after two years of debate in Tallahassee.

Stevenson said her 100-page measure gives investigators more power to keep kids safe.


Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program has received a $40,000 grant to help older youth aging out of foster care better transition into adulthood.

Florida has launched an initiative to find more foster parents for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

 

Two bills to help the state’s foster kids are now heading to the Governor’s desk.

A number of claims bills which found Florida’s child welfare agency at fault are now heading to the House floor. Among them is a high profile bill involving twins that further compensates the surviving victim, in an abuse case that took his twin sister’s life.

A preliminary hearing was held Thursday in the case of Naika Venant, the 14-year-old girl who broadcast her suicide on Facebook Live  from her Miami Gardens foster home earlier this year. It was the second suicide of a teenager in foster care overseen by the agency Our Kids in less than 60 days.


When most children in the foster care system turn 18, they’re on their own…Today, we’ll hear from a young man in a Miami supportive housing program called Casa Valentina, where young people get counseling and academic support and learn about building a life and career. Deon Richards is 22 now. WLRN's Rowan Moore Gerety  spoke with him  about what it was like becoming an adult as a ward of the state.

 

Study: DCF Must Improve Foster Child Care

Jan 23, 2017

The federal agency has given the Florida Department of Children and Families 90 days to devise a plan to improve care for foster children.


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