Northwest Region Addresses Need for Foster Homes for Children with Developmental Disabilities

The main topic at the August 17 Area 1 Family Care Council Meeting was the critical need for foster parents for children with developmental disabilities. Northwest Region Operations Manager Lynne Daw presented the new Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) initiative to work collaboratively with the APD Family Care Councils and Department of Children and Families (DCF) Community-Based Care agencies to encourage more individuals to become foster parents for children with developmental disabilities in the care of the DCF.

Daw suggested conducting some provider fairs where people could be educated on the need and the process. Parents of children with developmental disabilities could be part of the support system that is needed for the potential foster parents.  DCF Northwest Regional Managing Director Walter Sachs expressed the biggest urgency is keeping children in their home communities.

The collaboration will allow the sharing of resources. Connie Werner, the Families First Network (FFN) Foster Home Development Team Leader, shared the process of becoming a foster parent. A small work group with representation from all the partners was formed to develop how the collaboration would work. For more information on how to become a foster parent, contact 850-453-7777 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, or 850-833-3898 in Walton and Okaloosa counties.

From left to right: Connie Werner (FFN), Phyllis Gonzalez (DCF), Walter Sachs (DCF), Patty Houghland (FCC), and Lynne Daw (APD).