• New push underway to get more foster parents in Central Florida

    By: Ty Russell

    Updated:

    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - There's a new push to get 100 new foster parents to open their homes in Central Florida.

    There are more than 600 children in foster or group homes in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

    Foster families are needed to make sure those children get an education and don't end up in jail
    Melinda Potts-Cerio and Betty Potts-Cerio have taken care of 13 children in foster care within the last three years.

    Since then, they've adopted two young girls.  

    “If you have space in your heart and in your home, it's something you should look into,” said Melinda Potts-Cerio. “These kids have come into our home and each and every one of them have left a memory that we’ll never forget.”

    Community Based Care of Central Florida handles foster care in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

    That group, along with Zebra Coalition, which works with LGBT youth, is hosting three information sessions this month called "Fostering with Pride" to attract new foster parents. 

    “We want to make sure we are offering a safe environment and a loving home to LGBTQ kids,” said Heather Wilkie, the executive director of the Zebra Coalition.

    Organizers say they want to make LGBTQ couples aware they can foster children.

    They said sometimes, they're the best to help children who may be having a touch time with their identity. 

    The Potts-Cerio family is here to help. 

    “Become a foster parent. Before you know it, you'll adopt one or two and before you know it, you'll have 10,” said Melinda Potts-Cerio.

    Last year, 64 people turned 18 without having a permanent home. 

    There are two informational sessions in Orlando happening this weekend on how to help
     

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