Foster Family Appreciation Week

It's Foster Family Appreciation Week! In Florida, the second week in February is dedicated to celebrating our state’s foster families who provide safe and loving homes for children + teens who have experienced abuse and neglect. Foster families are changing the lives of our most vulnerable children and making a difference in their communities! THANK YOU to all of our foster families for all you do for children & families!


Candice Holliday has been fostering for nearly 2 years and she shares,

My why!!!! Its huge! I was once one of these children. Not understanding why, how, or feeling lost. As an adult I feel all children should feel loved, cared for and feel safe no matter who it is providing that for them.

Monica Stevens has been a Medical Foster Home for 4 years and she shared what inspires her to foster, "My why is truly for my daughter. When my medically needy daughter passed in 2017 I knew that wasn't the end of my love. My husband and I chose to reach out and do more.

I share my medical knowledge, patience as well as endless love with medically needy children and their families. All in hopes to help families understand the medical side of things a little easier and hopefully take some fear away so they can love their children and care for them in full confidence.

I enjoy co-parenting and love nurturing children back to the healthiest version of themselves. Surprisingly it's actually my current foster daughter. Her mom is working so hard on her case plan and I have witnessed so much growth with my foster daughter, physically and emotionally. She is thriving (finally medically stable), hugging, laughing, crawling and honestly the best version of herself. Her mother has expressed how much growth she has seen in her daughter and that means the world to me. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them TOGETHER!"

In 2014, Nichole Perrett began fostering and has lost count on the number of children that she has welcomed into her home.

Nichole shares that her inspiration to foster was, "My 3rd grade teacher adopted 5 children out of foster care. Growing up, they became some of my best friends, and we are still friends today. I've also attend church with other friends who have fostered and I just felt the calling that this is something I should do too.

I had helped reunify a family that had been with me for nearly 2 years. I had developed a very close relationship to the boys' mom and it was a very bittersweet moment for me when they reunified with mom. Only bitter because I would miss life with them! Mom let me know that that they planned to continue to be a part of my life going forward. And they did. My children who lovingly called me bonus mom, called for homework help, to update me on their lives, and wished me a happy whatever holiday it was. They truly became part of my family.

Recently when mom relapsed and her boys went into care, they still called me and we still prayed for mom. Thankfully mom is clean again, and when she called me, she was scared and ashamed  to tell me what happened and when I loved her through it, our bond only got stronger."


Lori Chapman has been fostering for 18 years, has welcomed 50+ children in her home and has adopted 8 girls (and about to adopt #9)! Lori is not only out in the community actively sharing the need for quality foster families, she also walks alongside newer foster families as a Foster Parent Mentor to help lend extra support in their first year.

Lori shares, "My Why for fostering, is that I love the results from my consistency with showing structure, a loving and safe living environment, nurturing, educating and advocating for the child. I love to watch the younger children's change in diet result in the fingernails forming and eye lashes grow and the texture of their skin improve. Also when a child comes in to your home that doesn't know how to love and you turn them around to a hugging and "I love you" child. It makes my heart happy.

My favorite success story is my adopted daughter Chloe. Chloe is age 7 and came to me at 18 months, and was not a very loving child but she turned into a lap sitter loving, 'I love you' yelling child."

Amber Doyle shares why she fosters, "God placed this desire on my heart at a very young age. I see their innocent face and recognize that Every child deserves to be loved UNCONDITIONALLY! They deserve to not carry the burdens of this world at such a young age. They deserve to have peace, safety, and stability. And after many years of doing this, I can admit the children that have passed through my home saved me way more than I could have ever dreamed of "saving" them.

Because of opening our home, my bio kids have a deep sense of compassion for others. They recognize trauma behavior before judging someone. They know how to pray because it’s the most powerful tool we have to bring peace into a situation. And they know how to find joy in the chaos! Thank God because it’s always chaos LOL!

All of my stories have been success stories. They may not have gone the way I imagined but I still get to see all of my kids and still love them AND THEIR PARENTS. To me, success is when they know they can always come to me and find love and safety."