9 Family Connection

Help needed more than ever for Central Florida children in foster care

ORLANDO, Fla. — As this pandemic pushes on, so do the jobs of those who care for and oversee the many Central Florida kids in foster care.

These everyday heroes simply ask that their commitment reminds people how important it is for these children.

Placing children in the safe loving homes is what this is all about.

Team members also stress, if you've been on the fence about fostering or even adopting, right now, there has never been a better time.

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At a local hospital, two case managers with the Children’s Home Society rotate round the clock shifts - to make sure a young boy in foster care had a familiar face, and never had to be alone

“We had some of our team member who were taking his laundry home to wash his clothes at their own home,” said Rebecca Smith, with Children’s Home Society.

Smith oversaw the case as personnel, and said showing up for the thousands of children in foster care across the state is just part of her team's critical job that can't be put aside in this pandemic

“That doesn't stop no matter what's going on out there, we're still trying to do good,” Smith said.

On any given day in Orange County, 50 CHS case managers, in protective gear, leave their own families to serve Central Florida's most vulnerable children.

COVID-19 has changed their look, not their mission.

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“They're still seeing kids, they're still identifying safe homes for them, still helping them have contact with siblings and parents,” Smith said. “We're still moving, because kids don't deserve to have anybody take a break on them.”

Through technology - kids are connected to case managers, loved ones and even meet prospective foster parents - holding hope in each virtual connection.

“We have kids that need that support system in a crisis like this,” Smith said.

The process to become a foster parent starts with at least getting some information and seeing if it’s a right fit for you and your family and that’s something that absolutely can be happening right now.