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For Immediate Release:                                          Contact:
June 1, 2017                                                                Melanie Mowry Etters
                                                                                    Communication Director


State Agencies Partner to Recruit Foster Parents for Children with Disabilities

TALLAHASSEE, FL—In celebration of National Foster Care Month in May, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) launched a new initiative to find more individuals to become foster parents for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities currently in the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). APD and DCF will work collaboratively with the 15 APD Family Care Councils and the 18 DCF community-based care agencies across the state to encourage individuals to explore foster parenting.

Foster parenting is a rewarding experience and gives a child the safe and caring home they need. The grassroots approach of linking potential foster parents with members of their local Family Care Councils will aide these parents in identifying resources and learning more about the overall experience of caring for a child with a developmental disability.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “We are grateful to all of the exceptional partners across the state participating in this new initiative to help children with developmental and intellectual disabilities find quality foster homes. The Family Care Council members will provide vital support to those interested in becoming foster parents.”

“Making the decision to welcome a child into your home is life changing, especially when caring for a child with special needs,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “But it is also an immensely rewarding experience, and we are working together to provide foster and adoptive parents with the resources they need to care for these extraordinary children.”

New foster parents will need to become licensed with DCF. For more information to help individuals learn about fostering or adopting, visit

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866 273 2273).