A Declining Number of Foster Homes
As an organization deeply committed to the welfare of children, One More Child is at the forefront of efforts to support and nurture the lives of foster children. Still, today, we want to shed light on the declining number of foster homes in Florida’s Sarasota, Manatee, and Desoto counties, affectionally called the Suncoast. The importance of fostering stability for young children without a forever home cannot be overstated.
Rachel Froelich, Foster Care Supervisor for One More Child, explains the Suncoast region boasted more than 200 foster homes before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recent years have seen a dramatic decrease in open homes, a decline of 35%.
This regression is alarming because there are currently 387 foster children within the system across Sarasota, Manatee, and Desoto counties. The shortage of suitable foster homes puts an undue strain on these children bouncing between temporary placements.
Opening Your Heart and Home
To tackle this urgent issue, One More Child partners with Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida to provide essential resources such as housing and food for foster families on our Palmetto campus.
Guardian Angels has constructed six houses designed for One More Child foster families, intending to keep siblings together whenever possible but open to all foster children in need. Currently, the homes facilitate a stable environment for 40 to 50 children.
Despite our best efforts, the demand for foster homes far exceeds the available supply, and this gap continues to grow. Data collected by “The Imprint,” combined with federal reporting, paints a sobering picture: Florida ranks second only to California in the nation for the number of children in foster care, underscoring the urgency of our mission.
Join Us in Making a Difference
Being a foster parent is not always easy, but it is unquestionably necessary. In a world that prioritizes convenience, we must remember that vulnerable children need more than convenience – they need love, stability, and a safe place to call home.
We are committed to raising awareness about this issue and inspiring individuals and families within our community to consider opening their hearts and homes to foster children. Together, we can bridge the gap between the supply of foster homes and the growing demand, ensuring that no child goes without the love and care they deserve.
Become a Foster Parent
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or contributing to our efforts, please reach out to us. One More Child’s Foster Care staff provides ongoing support and encouragement for those sharing Christ’s love in this powerful and life-changing way.
Apply to Live in a Foster Family Home in Florida
In addition to the option to care for foster children in your own home, One More Child has opportunities for licensed foster parents to live rent-free in homes maintained by One More Child.
Our innovative Foster Family Home model allows sibling groups to stay together in multi-room, fully furnished homes. Individuals who do not currently have the space or accommodations to care for several foster children can say “yes” to hurting children needing a place to call home because they have all the resources necessary for a successful placement.
More Ways to Help Foster Children
For those who are not ready to become licensed foster parents, we still need your help! Consider participating in your church’s Foster Crew or launch one where you live.
Foster families everywhere need super sitters, household helpers, meal makers, prayer partners, and more for support and encouragement.
One More Child can train you, provide information and online tools to manage your Crew, and offer ongoing support to help you connect the skills and gifts of people in your church with the needs of local foster families.
Start giving foster families the support they need by starting a Foster Crew at your church today. Contact us for more information.