Here is a quick breakdown of what we do:
Overview of Programs and Services
Specialized Training and Education of Foster Parents: The SFFAPA provides monthly in-service training for the continuing education of foster parents. We equip foster parents with the knowledge they need to support their children with instruction on topics such as: Parenting trauma-exposed children, effective co-parenting with biological parents, understanding of the dependency system, benefits of open adoptions and foster parent rights and advocacy. SFFAPA’s past guest speakers/trainers include Judges, behavioral therapists, experts in child-trauma, case management agencies, Florida Foster Care Review and many more. In 2016, South Florida Fosters awarded over 1400 continuing education credits to foster parents which are required for re-licensing.
Foster Parent Support: The SFFAPA oversees a support program in which seasoned foster parents provide support to newly licensed foster families. This support includes guidance on everything from parenting traumatized children, to how to manage the case management and legal processes. We actively intervene when parents experience road blocks with case management agencies. In recognition that the foster care board rate covers only about 60% of the actual cost of a child, we also locate and connect families to other community resources, such as tutoring and after school activities.
Pre and Post adoption support: We facilitate ongoing adoption support groups as well as continue to mentor families, post-adoption. SFFAPA gives assistance throughout the adoption process such as completing adoption applications, adoption subsidy negotiations and post adoption community resources.
Children’s activities: Through the kindness of both individuals and other community organizations, SFFAPA organizes holiday and other annual events such as Our Annual Back to School Event and School Supply Drive, Halloween Party, Thanksgiving Potluck, Holiday Toy Drive and other fun activities (Marlins & Dolphins games) for foster children, who without our support, would typically not have these opportunities.
SFFAPA clothing closet: Most foster children who arrive at our homes come with only the clothes on their backs. Typically, families receive no immediate funding to provide for their needs. So, we maintain a clothing closet with gently-used clothes so that parents can access this storage unit at a moment’s notice. Our clothing closet is made possible by a generous donation from Educate Tomorrow, who covers the cost of the annual storage rental fees.