Today, nearly half a million young people are in foster care in the United States. Many of these children and youth face overwhelming challenges, including food insecurity, getting behind in school, and even trusting authority figures in their lives. There are hundreds of kids in foster care in Northwest Florida alone who are at risk of facing these obstacles. Through our foster care program, caring and giving parents are opening their hearts and homes to give these kids a chance to grow and thrive in a loving environment.
For many kids, foster care is not permanent. There are many reasons why children may be placed into the foster care system, but these children are experiencing some sort of neglect, abuse, or abandonment that may place them in danger. Foster care serves as a temporary solution for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children until a more permanent solution has been identified.
Embrace Florida Kids strives to find the right placement the first time to reduce the stress, shock, and trauma of children in the system. We are proud of the growing number of families who partner with us to provide care for children in their homes. We work to ensure that kids have the following:
Embrace Foster Care provides more than 90 children and youth with more than 12,000 combined days of care each year.*
*Information based on 2021 census data collected by Embrace Florida Kids.
We want children to thrive. Sometimes, that means living with a foster or adoptive family. We work to keep biological families together, but when that is not possible, or when there is a concern for the safety of a child, we work with caring and giving foster families in Northwest Florida who open their hearts and homes to kids in need.
Our licensed and accredited foster care program works to serve the needs of various individuals:
Embrace Florida Kids recruits, trains, licenses, and supports foster parents in Northwest Florida, providing a variety of resources that prepare and equip foster families for success. Additionally, our team places children in loving foster homes while continually supervising their care to ensure their safety and wellbeing is maintained. Beyond training and support, our Foster Care program features:
Our foster care program is managed from our office in Pace, Florida, with support services provided in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties.
“Sometimes children come into our lives for only a short time. As a single foster parent, I had taken in a sweet boy whose aunt was working very hard to pursue custody of the child. I stayed in close contact with his aunt, encouraging her and updating her on the child’s daily life. In the end, the aunt was able to work through the legal and procedural hurdles to allow the court to place the child with her. As the little boy and his aunt walked hand in hand out of the courthouse, I knew that sweet little boy was exactly where he was meant to be. This is what the Embrace Florida Kids Foster Care program is all about: doing what’s right for the children.”
You can become a foster parent if you are at least 25 years old and can provide a safe environment for a child or children. Your home will be assessed to ensure compliance with the standards for foster family homes. All members of your household must have medical clearances and all adults in the home must be willing to undergo criminal history background checks.
Making the call is the first step toward becoming a foster parent. You can register for a free 10-week Trauma Informed Parenting Strategies (TIPS) course that will introduce you to foster parenting and help you decide if foster parenting is right for you. Once you complete the course, other training, applications, and evaluations are required for you to become certified. You do not have to commit to be a foster parent to enroll in the course. We recommend that you wait until you have attended the course before making the decision on fostering.