Thu, June 25, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. (June 25, 2020) – In honor of National Reunification Month this June, Central Florida’s leading foster care nonprofit, Embrace Families, shared statistics that illustrate the importance of reunification programs in building stronger families and communities.
Since its founding in 2004, Embrace Families has followed a reunification-first model. The nonprofit seeks to keep children out of foster care – and to limit the emotional and psychological harm of separation – by helping parents build healthier homes. Using this model, Embrace Families has reduced the number of children in group care by 60%, and reduced the number of children waiting to be placed with an adoptive family by 90%.
“Children don’t belong in foster care; it’s as simple as that,” said Glen Casel, president and CEO of Embrace Families. “Whenever possible, we want to move children out of foster care by making it safe for them to go home – and when we can’t, we want to place them in new adoptive homes as soon as we can.”
In April 2020, a total of 72 children left the Central Florida foster care system. Of those, 36 (49%) were successfully reunified with their families. Approximately 93% of Florida children who are reunified with their families have no further home disturbances within 12 months of the case being closed.
“When we think of abuse, we tend to remember the most egregious, heartbreaking cases we see on the news,” said Diane Greene, director of quality and training at Embrace Families. “In reality, many troubled families want to care for their kids – but they struggle with mental illness or financial hardship. That’s where our team steps in to help provide resources.”
Embrace Families also thanked the community’s many foster parents and relative caregivers for their critical contributions to the success of these programs. Central Florida’s network of caregiver families provide much-needed stability, comfort and reassurance to children whose families are working toward reunification.
For complete statistics, visit the interactive Child Welfare Dashboard at www.myflfamilies.com. You can also learn more about the reunification, adoption, foster care and advocacy programs Embrace Families offers at www.embracefamilies.org.