Give the Gift of a Family
Many people recall their childhoods as a time of play, learning, and growth. But for hundreds of local children, this critically formative time has brought the suffering of abuse, abandonment, neglect and trauma. They have a great need for caring homes now to love them, nurture them and show them a more positive way of life.
Foster and adoptive parents respond with compassion and love to this need. Foster parents provide caring temporary homes to children in need, creating a lifelong impact in a relatively short period of time. Adoptive parents become the legal parents to a child, providing a forever family. Both foster and adoptive parenting are vitally important and change the world—one child at a time
Because Childhood Won’t Wait
Hundreds of children in the State of Florida do not have a forever home that they can call their own. All they want is a stable, nurturing family where they can feel safe, secure and most of all loved. Kids Central provides adoption services in the Fifth Judicial Circuit serving Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, and Hernando Counties.
The children available for adoption through the child welfare system are the victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. The majority of children available for adoption meet at least one of the following criteria: medically needy, 8 years old or older, black or racially mixed, siblings, developmentally delayed, physically disabled, mentally disabled, emotionally disabled or substance (drug) exposed in-utero.
Foster children have unique needs, including life experiences that may negatively affect their interactions within the foster or adoptive family and at school. These children need someone who will never give up; someone to teach them how to love and respect others and themselves.
In the communities of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion or Sumter County, approximately 1,600 children are living in crisis every day. They desperately need a safe, temporary and loving home free from abuse and neglect. Foster parents are the every day heroes who give children in need a safe, temporary home and much needed love.
The familial bond is strong. Whenever safely possible, Kids Central in partnership
with its contracted case management agencies and the Department of Children and Families work initially with the biological parents and other family members to provide safe, permanent homes to the abused and neglected children. If an appropriate family member cannot be found to care for the children, the foster parents are usually looked to next to adopt, and if the foster parents are not interested in adopting, the child is matched with a permanent unrelated adoptive home. If you’re open to learning more about becoming a foster parent, please call Paula Mealy at 352-387-3487 or fill out an information request form.
Should You Consider Fostering or Adoption?
Ask yourself the following questions to help decide if become a foster or adoptive parent is right for you. Will you be able to:
- Love and care for a child with a challenging background and sometimes difficult behavior?
- Help the child develop a sense of belonging and security in your home—whether on a temporary basis or as a permanent adoptive parent?
- Stand by the child through life’s ups and downs?
- Feel that it’s your personal mission to give a child in crisis a loving home?
Foster and adoptive parent candidates must:
- Be a Florida resident age 21 and older;
- Be financially stable;
- Be able to care for children;
- Pass an extensive criminal background check; and
- Have adequate room and beds in your home for children.
To learn more about the adoption process, please call Paula Mealy at 352-387-3487, visit AdoptionSpots.org, or complete information request form.