We offer something few of our kids and families have known: hope.
Children's Home Society of Florida - Central Florida Division from Children's Home Society Florida on Vimeo.
Too many children in our community understand just one thing: fear. They've suffered the brutalities of abuse, the pain of neglect. They've lost any sense of belonging. They don't know how to trust.
And then they're rescued from their nightmares. Finally, there's a glimmer of light. There's Children's Home Society of Florida.
Hundreds of kids and teens come to us every year, hurt and confused by the past yet fearful and uncertain about the future. They rely on us for safety, healing, comfort and guidance. Many find acceptance and love with local foster families that have opened their homes to children in need.
What happens next?
While we care for kids, we also work with their parents to overcome challenges that once threatened the children's safety. During this time, families learn to rebuild broken trust and bonds. In a warm environment, moms and dads learn how to practice positive parenting, and family connections begin to strengthen.
Through counseling, parenting groups and services in the home, families become strong and stable. And kids can safely return home.
Sometimes, though, kids can never return home. When this happens, our adoption team works hard to find families eager to welcome these children into their hearts and homes forever.
Life after 18
Sometimes, teens turn 18 while they're still in foster care. That day, they become legal adults, responsible for every aspect of their well-being. School. Housing. Transportation. Food. It's a lot for any 18-year-old to handle. For young adults who've never really had a solid support system, it's practically impossible.
In Central Florida, we're in the midst of a capital campaign to open The Faine House to provide a safe, secure place for young adults to stay while they complete their education and pursue careers. Without The Faine House, many teens who exit foster care without families may drop out of school, sleep on the streets or become parents before they're ready, thus repeating the tragic cycle of abuse that brought them into foster care so many years before.
Help for families in crisis
Crises happen. For some families, they happen a lot. Our experienced counselors understand how to compassionately work with families so they can overcome challenges, improve communication and learn how to appropriately handle stress, anxiety and other strong feelings.
When families need more intense counseling or care, we connect them with other resources and organizations that can best help them through their struggles.
Sometimes, we meet families at A Place for Children, our drop-in childcare center in the Orange County Courthouse. When parents have business with the court, we provide a safe place for their kdis to stay and play - for free. Often, A Place for Children opens doors to more services to keep families safe, strong and stable ... to prevent future crises that may threaten children's well-being.
Starting fresh: Helping new moms raise safe, healthy babies
Being a parent can be really overwhelming! Especially if you were raised in an abusive home. Or if you're in a violent relationship. Or battling an addiction. Or struggling to get through each day.
So we offer Early Head Start and Perinatal to help moms and dads create a safe, nurturing home for their babies. We guide them through uncertain times and teach them how to manage the stress and demands of raising a child.
Our goal: to prevent abuse and neglect for more innocent kids, to break the vicious cycle in more Central Florida families.