Foster Care Blog

National Adoption Month & State Adoption Benefits

National Adoption Month & State Adoption Benefits

  Benefits of Adopting Florida's Children

Adoption provides unique opportunities to change children's lives and enrich the life of the adoptive parent or family that welcomes them in. Adopting one of Florida's children from foster care offers many special benefits

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CASE MANAGER'S CORNER

CASE MANAGER'S CORNER

by: Bill Nunnally
Case manager's corner is Chief Quality & Performance Officer, Bill Nunnally's forum in which
to recognize various employees from case management organizations for their outstanding work.

IN THIS EDITION: 
-
Karina Escalera of Devereux
-Danielle Meinke of One Hope United 
-Ana Cruz of Neighbor to Family
-Cris Allphin of Gulf Coast 
-more...

CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE...

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Addressing the Urgent Need for Foster and Adoptive Homes

Addressing the Urgent Need for Foster and Adoptive Homes

 

The availability of quality foster and adoptive homes is an ever present challenge within child welfare. Historically, homes for teens and large sibling groups are even more difficult to recruit. There is an added challenge, currently, in that the number of new foster homes being licensed is outpaced by the numbers of children being removed from their homes. Removals are at a ten year high within Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Heartland for Children is committed to innovation in the approaches used to recruit and retain quality foster parents.

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Each Hour Counts: A Biological Son’s Perspective as a Foster & Adoptive Brother

Each Hour Counts: A Biological Son’s Perspective as a Foster & Adoptive Brother

This is why my family chose to become a foster, and eventually adoptive family in Polk County, Florida. As a foster and adoptive brother, I have been allowed the opportunity to help shelter ten different children within our home over the past eight years. During this time I have been able to develop patience and empathy for those who have experienced great trauma. Since I was an only child for the first six years of my life, these experiences led me to share my space, toys, time, and even my family. With every child that was taken in, I felt it was my responsibility to make sure they didn't leave without knowing that there was someone who cared. I have helped prepare numerous meals, organize clothes, provide safety and fun at the park, entertainment at home and in the car, reading of books, bedtime prayers, and much more. Although some of my foster brothers and sisters stayed for only a short time, I believe that each day counts.

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Little Birds

Little Birds

“Mom, are you coming?!” my youngest daughter wailed, “Come on! We’re ready to FREE it!” In order to understand what is taking place, let me rewind to about eight weeks ago.

It was a normal Sunday afternoon and the family was outside working in the yard like we do twice a month. As we were weeding the flower beds, our cat, Rasputin, appeared from around the corner, carrying something that was moving in his mouth.  My daughters, knowing that the little creature was facing an untimely death, started to scream at Rasputin.  Rasputin immediately dropped the creature from his mouth and ran the opposite direction. My youngest daughter had made it to the wiggling animal first and exclaimed “Oh Mama, it’s a baby bird!”  As I approached, I could tell that the bird appeared to be in very bad shape. “Mama, you have to help the little guy!” Looking first at the little shivering mess of feathers, then at the two pleading faces before me, I caught myself saying ”Go get a towel and a box. We’ll take it to the ER vet down the road.”

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Rudolph Round-Up 2015 Recap

Rudolph Round-Up 2015 Recap

Thanks to the generosity of all the donors who chose to be Rudolph Champions in 2015, contributing financially, purchasing items from children’s wish lists and/or sponsoring one of over 60 toy drives in our community, we were able to not only meet our goal, but exceed it! 

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Fostering Teens

Fostering Teens

“I could never foster a teenager”. I’ve heard it time and time again during my twenty two years working in child welfare. Why are people so afraid of teen agers?  We were ALL teenagers at one point…is that why you don’t think you can do it, because you’re afraid of a child like yourself?  (insert funny photo?) I have met some of THE most amazing teens during my career. These kids are earning athletic and academic scholarships to college, they excel in their high school sports and community clubs…but they couldn’t do this without a caring foster parent by their side to support them every step of the way.

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Relationships & Attachments Play a Role in Psychological Health & Well-Being

Relationships & Attachments Play a Role in Psychological Health & Well-Being

Forming relationships and attachments with others is inevitable even among the most shy and isolated individuals. So long as one lives and interacts with others, a form of attachment or relationship is established. There are different types of relationships that the average person can associate with: parent to child, foster parent to foster child, grandparent to grandchild, and sibling to sibling, spouse to spouse relationship along with extended family relationships. There are also the romantic, friendship, colleague, and the roommate relationships. The list can go on and on. A relationship, simply put, is being related to or interrelated with another individual on some level.Read More
Foster Parent Q & A: Cyndy Strickland

Foster Parent Q & A: Cyndy Strickland

Our journey first began long before September 2011; it began about 16 years ago with kinship care. We were contacted by the department and asked if we would consider taking in our nephews who were going to be removed from their home. My husband and I said yes. About two years later, there was a TPR hearing and the boys came up for adoption. Again, my husband and I said yes and adopted. After having previously being involved with the system through kinship care and adoption...and having two empty bedrooms (can’t have that!), we decided to take the leap and attend foster parent classes. We will soon celebrate our three-year anniversary as foster parents. 

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A First-Hand Account: Cebien Alty, Foster Parent

A First-Hand Account: Cebien Alty, Foster Parent

After nearly 10 years of being opposed to the idea of fostering, I finally decided to take the first step back in 2009 to learn more about the need and exactly what my commitment would be if I were to foster.Read More
How Foster Parents Strengthen the Community

How Foster Parents Strengthen the Community

HEARTLAND FOR CHILDREN - [Foster Care Blog] - Today, our foster parents are highly skilled volunteers that work in partnership with biological parents, case managers and other child welfare professionals to ensure that while the children are away from their parents, the parents still feel supported and connected to their children.  Read More
Unlocking Futures:  Meet Ms. Wasson

Unlocking Futures: Meet Ms. Wasson

Lori Wasson was licensed on October 18, 2011 for one child, but when she was asked if she could take two in order to keep sisters together, she quickly agreed. She was later told that they had two brothers who were also in care and she welcomed the idea of having all four siblings placed with her.

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A Foster Parent's Journey: Meet the Altys

A Foster Parent's Journey: Meet the Altys

When Cebien Alty’s wife, Joy-Lynn, brought up the subject of becoming foster parents, as her biological mother had been during her adolescent years, his quick reply was a resounding “NO!"  He wanted to focus on having children of their own and was quite honestly worried about the "type" of children in the foster care system.

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In the last ten[+] years, Heartland for Children has established strong community partnerships and effective programs that have positively impacted our tri-county area. Under their leadership, child abuse has decreased. This change has been a result of strong commitment to prevention and evidence based programs. Additionally, their focus on trauma focused care has made a tremendous impact on children and families that have experienced abuse, neglect, and out of home placements. Heartland for Children is the model of community based care for our state. As a social worker who was involved in the transition to this model of care in our state, I fully support and endorse their continued work and leadership in Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.