Many people recall their childhoods as a time of play, learning and growth, but for hundreds of local children, this critically formative time has brought the suffering of abuse, abandonment, neglect and trauma. They now have a great need for caring homes to love them, nurture them and show them a positive way of life.
Foster and adoptive parenting are vitally important and change the world—one child at a time.Foster parents provide caring temporary homes to children in crisis, creating a lifelong impact in a relatively short period of time. Adoptive parents become the legal parents to a child, providing a forever family. Kids Central is in need of foster and adoptive homes with the greatest need being for children ages 9-15.
Are You Called To Care?
Ask yourself the following questions to help decide if becoming a foster or adoptive parent is right for you. Will you be able to:
Love and care for a child with a challenging background and sometimes difficult behavior?
Help the child develop a sense of belonging and security in your home—whether on a temporary basis or as a permanent adoptive parent?
Stand by the child through life’s ups and downs?
Feel that it’s your personal mission to give a child in crisis a loving home?
State Requirements For Foster And Adoptive Parents
Many people who are first interested in providing a home for a child who has suffered are concerned about the requirements for foster care and adoption. The good news is that they are fairly straightforward. The state of Florida requires that you be a Florida resident, be at least 21 years old, be financially stable and able to care for children, and have adequate room and beds in your home. Understandably, an extensive criminal background check is also required.
The First Life You Change Will Be Your Own
Fostering or adopting a child gives you the opportunity to make a difference for a lifetime, especially for children ages 9-15, and it will change your life in the process. Like all parenting, fostering and adoption are challenging. But for those who feel called to care for children who have suffered abuse and neglect, the rewards are enormous. In fact, many foster parents have the opportunity to adopt their foster children and continue the loving relationship they have built for life.
If you feel called to become a foster or adoptive parent—or simply wish to learn more—please call Paula Mealy of Kids Central at (352) 387-3487 or visit KidsCentralFosterParents.org for more information.
Kids Central is the nonprofit lead agency charged with caring for abused, neglected and abandoned children in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties.