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While there may not be capes hanging on closet hooks, Broward County is home to heroes.

You might pass them in the grocery store or in the office breakroom and may not even know the amazing impact they make within our community. They’re not living in hideouts or headquarters, but in your very own neighborhoods, keeping children safe and protecting Fort Lauderdale’s future

I’m talking about foster parents. The everyday do-gooders that make kids feel loved and supported through their toughest heartaches.

Personally, I’m thrilled to belt out the praises of these often unsung heroes.

Because it’s not an easy role to play – parent to someone else’s child. And with the number-one goal to safely return children home to their birth parents, foster parents inevitably give a little piece of their own valor with every child that enters and then leaves their home.

But what truly makes their work so selfless and lion-hearted are their bold efforts to walk hand-in-hand with birth parents, encouraging them to find success as they learn to become stronger parents.

Working together so their children see the heroes that lie within their own mommies and daddies.

When kids come into foster care, it’s scary. They’re not sure what’s going to happen … and, many times, neither are their parents.

That’s why we at Children’s Home Society of Florida actively train and empower our heroic foster parents to embrace the entire family, to care not only for the children in their home but also to nurture and support the parents working so hard to bring their family back together.

You see, the majority of the time – at least 70% — children come into foster care because of neglect, not abuse. Parents overwhelmed with personal challenges – from unemployment to mental health struggles or substance abuse – struggle to provide the care their children need, and it threatens child well-being. But with the support of CHS and caring foster parents, parents begin to find steady footing to climb higher than they knew possible.

Children’s Home Society of Florida recently adopted a bold new direction to end the need for foster care as we know it. It’s ambitious – and possible only with our community’s commitment.

When foster care is necessary to protect the safety and well-being of children while parents work through their challenges, we believe the best outcomes for kids occur when we all embrace the opportunity to empower families to succeed – and we’re combining forces with Broward’s heroes to make that happen.

Our foster parents do much more than welcome kids into their hearts and homes. Our foster parents welcome entire families into their hearts. They coach moms and dads who may have never before had a positive parental role model. They offer hugs and high-fives, and they remind kids just how much everyone in their family – in both of their families – loves them.

But we don’t have nearly enough foster homes in our community.

If that doesn’t change, Broward County could be in crisis – and the most vulnerable kids in neighborhoods will be the ones who suffer.

What if you’re the one a child needs? Will you accept that possibility? Will you open your heart to the opportunity to reshape the lives of children and families in Broward County?

I know we have more heroes in our neighborhoods.

You won’t be alone in your journey; our dedicated team at Children’s Home Society of Florida will be with you each step of the way.

But it’s up to you to take the first step.

Call (954) 453-6400 or visit www.chsfl.org/fostering to get started.

Originally Posted by: sun-sentinel.com

Maggie Dante Senior Vice President of Operations

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