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State Needs More Foster Parents For Children With Disabilities

Torrey Wiley

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


The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is working with 18 community-based care agencies to push foster parenting locally.


“We need good foster parents — outstanding foster parents — to be there at a time of need for these children,” Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell said. “We’ve also realized that children who have these disabilities really need special people to step up because you’re talking about more involved care.”


Harrell said the initiative is about connecting children with foster parents who are committed to working with a child until they can be reunited with their biological families.


DCF’s Northeast Regional Manager Patricia Medlock said providing a homelike experience for a child by becoming a foster parent can be very rewarding.


“Parents really become advocates for the kids by fighting for what they need. They’re apart of our whole system of care.” Medlock said. “They work with us in the court systems and private providers to really give the kids what they need to survive and be very successful.”


Parental training is offered before and after a child enters the home. To learn about fostering or adopting visit the Florida Department Of Children And Families website.


Nikeya Heath can be reached at, or on Twitter at @Nikereports