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Influx of Children in Foster Care Inspires Community Forum

There are currently 14,000 children in foster care in the state of Florida.  Unfortunately, that number is increasing. Recently, East Pasco County has started to feel the effects of this influx. Eckerd Connects’ Community Alternatives will hold a community forum on Thursday, December 7, 2017 to address the foster care issues most affecting East Pasco. The event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at 38724 Mudcat Grant Blvd. in Lacoochee, Florida.

“More children are entering the system than exiting,” says Dave Farquharson, Eckerd Connects’ Resource Recruitment Coordinator. “The number of foster parents and available beds remains the same, but the number of kids is growing. The purpose of a community forum is to raise awareness about the needs in Tampa Bay’s system of care. New foster parents come on board, but other foster parents leave the system and therefore our numbers do not increase as fast as the number of foster children.”

On the heels of National Adoption Day, where several children were matched with their forever homes, Eckerd Connects calls for more attention to those who remain in need of care.  The East Pasco County area is especially in the need of additional foster parents. The hope is that by holding this event, the community will better understand the urgency facing East Pasco and share that information with neighbors, friends, co-workers, and members of their churches.

Light food and beverages will be served during the forum. For registration or more event information, please contact Diane Johnson at (727) 456-0600 ext. 2085 or email djohnson@eckerd.org. For those in the community who are ready to act now, foster parent orientations are held each month. The next foster parent orientations are scheduled for December 4 in Trinity and December 11 in Largo. Contact Diane Johnson to register.