In 2010, a small group of foster and adoptive parents decided to form a support group to meet the emotional and demanding needs of parenting trauma exposed children. For example, most folks parent their children as they were parented. But in parenting a traumatized child, those skill sets are most often insufficient. We came together to teach, to nuture and to mentor one another. Soon we decided to form an association, and elected our first officers. Offering workshops in both Spanish and English, we held monthly meetings to instruct and mentor foster parents on all aspects of foster parenting, including our involvement with the case management and court room processes.
In 2014, the System of Care in South Florida underwent a financial crisis when the number of children coming into foster care increased by 50% over a span of less than a year. As a result of this budget crisis, foster families experienced a significant reduction of direct support services as well as financial help. In 2015, the South Florida Foster & Adoptive Parent Association became a 501c3 organizations, to fill in the gap and meet the growing needs of foster children and the families who care for them.
Over the years, our foster and adoptive families have empowered themselves to meet the ever changing demands of families who care for abused, abandoned and neglected children. Through this liberating and enlightening process, we came to a significant conclusion: No one is better equipped to meet the emotional, educational and advocacy needs of foster parents, than foster parents themselves! Furthermore, no one involved in the system of care has a more important role in the lives of foster children than the caregivers themselves. This truth makes us strategically and uniquely poised to effect a significant, positive, life-changing outcome on the lives of the children not only in our homes, but all children in the system of care in South Florida.