Foster Manatee Launches to Recruit Foster Parents

Manatee Community Foundation (MCF) and a coalition of area partners have launched a new community outreach campaign to help meet Manatee County’s increasing need for foster parents.

The community campaign involves MCF and local child welfare organizations, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. In 2017, they formed the Manatee Foster Care Initiative with funding support from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation. A new website, FosterManatee.org, launched in late May 2018 to serve as an information hub for prospective foster parents and to anchor the campaign.

Manatee County, hit particularly hard by the opioid and heroin epidemic, has experienced an unprecedented number of child removals resulting in a shortage of foster homes. The Foster Manatee campaign seeks to inspire immediate action, increasing the number of local foster parents and equipping interested area residents with the information needed to begin their fostering journey. The outreach program is promoted via the new website, social media, and online and offline advertising, as well as through partner relationships within the community.

Foster Manatee follows the research-based approach used by other child welfare leaders across the state through the Florida Intelligent Recruitment Project (FIRP), a federally funded pilot program for recruiting foster and adoptive parents.

In addition to MCF and the Barancik Foundation, Foster Manatee partners include the All Star Children’s Foundation, Bridge A Life, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Children’s Guardian Fund, Drug Free Manatee, Everyday Blessings, Family Safety Alliance, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Florida Department of Children and Families, Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida, Manatee County Government, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Parenting Matters, Sarasota YMCA – Safe Children Coalition, SOLVE Maternity Homes, The Florida Center for Early Childhood, United Way Suncoast, USF Sarasota – Manatee, and West Florida Foster Care Services.

More information about Foster Manatee is available FosterManatee.org.