The vision of the advocate team started more than 20 years ago with the idea that transparency and what is best for child should always be first priority. Built from this foundation, the advocate team grew from one advocate in 2005 to a four person advocate team in 2011.
It was then the vision of the lead foster care agency in Central Florida that foster parents should feel truly appreciated as partners of a professional team.
Therefore, that lead agency was willing to make room in the budget for a team dedicated to advocate, guide and support foster families. This concept has since evolved in hopes to include all caregivers that have children in their home with the system's involvement.
The team has been able to work with agencies to get foster parents more involved in court hearings and staffings. The foster parents feel more empowered to ask questions, submit input forms to the court and request meetings and to be a part of them. Giving caregivers a voice around the table has been an invaluable asset to the best interest of children in care throughout the community for years.
We understand the challenges, changes and stressors that can come with the process of suddenly being responsible for and caring for our children. Often due to the children's trauma, there are many needs that our families are unable to anticipate. The advocate team helps to alleviate these added stressors in various ways.
Our desire is for this program to grow and to encompass an extraordinary quality of caregivers for our children, and we encourage empowerment of those caregivers along their journeys, as well.
Overall, the goal is & has always been to support those who support our community's children!