Each June, child welfare advocates across the country celebrate the families who have overcome obstacles to providing their child a safe and nurturing home environment and are able to successfully reunify after their child was placed in the state child welfare system.
During National Reunification Month, Florida’s community of care comes together to raise awareness about the hard work families have done to work towards reunification and those in our community who support them and celebrate with a month-long campaign, “Lifting Families Together.”
“Throughout the year, our community celebrates so many types of families, foster families, adoptive families, children in care and our child welfare professionals,” said Kurt Kelly, FCC CEO. “This month is one of the least recognized nationwide but one of the most important. These parents work so hard to overcome obstacles in their daily lives and become stronger for their children and their families. They deserve the recognition this month and every month of the year.”
In Florida, 6,900 children were reunified with their families from March 2019 to March 2020. These children represent just under half of the 14,593 kids who found permanency during that same time period in the state.
“Governor DeSantis and I are proud that Florida is joining the nationwide celebration of reunification,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “We applaud the many parents who worked hard to achieve reunification and continue to provide for their children’s health, safety, and overall well-being. This is no easy feat, but you have proven that, with love and dedication, it is possible.”
Florida’s community-based system of care – made up of agencies that provide resources and support to families in the child welfare system – are dedicated to keeping children in their homes and teaching parents how to provide safe and loving care.
“At DCF, our number one goal is to help parents get back on their feet and gain the knowledge, skills, and overall confidence they need to provide safe, loving homes for their children,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell. “I’m proud to know that, today and every day, my team and our partners at the Florida Coalition for Children are working tirelessly towards our shared goal of reunification, helping Florida families to grow and thrive, while paving the way for the rest of the nation.”
Throughout the month of June, Florida’s child welfare community will recognize the work that goes into lifting families together, and throughout the year continue our commitment to helping families reunify safely. For more information on the Lifting Families Together campaign visit the FCC’s Facebook at @FLCoalitionforChildren.