Florida’s Department of Children and Families is committed to improving the lives of children in foster care.
The Department of Children and Families is the state agency charged with investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and ensuring the safety of these children. The department does this by providing support services to children and their families, and, in some cases, providing a place outside of the home for children to live while their caregivers work to provide a safe and stable home for them.
In Florida each year, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 children who are removed from their home because they experienced neglect or abuse at the hands of a family member. For these children, it is no longer safe to live at home.
Most children who are removed from their parents or guardians are placed with appropriate relatives until they can return home. However, if there are no relatives who are able to care for them, these children are placed with a foster family, or in some cases, in a group home.
What sets foster parents apart is their ability to love a child like one of their own, regardless of whether the child lives with them for a month or for a year. Foster parents have the challenging task of providing an atmosphere that helps a child heal and prepare to go back home, if possible, or on to a new permanent home. Foster parents are a vital resource for these children as they wait, between a past that was painful and a future that is uncertain.
On these pages, we have provided information for potential foster parents, current foster families and children and youth in foster care.