Recent headlines about the deaths of children in the foster care system have shocked the community. But what if we, as ordinary citizens, could do something about it?
Over 3,000 children are currently in foster care in Miami-Dade County. Many of these children will remain in foster care for several years, until a permanent home can be identified, or until they age out of the system at 18 years old. The numbers seem daunting: how can the safety of so many children in state care be guaranteed? Foster Care Review, Inc. sets out to provide a second pair of eyes to review what’s going on with these children – so that they are not languishing while in care, and are given every opportunity to live safe, happy and healthy lives.
The non-profit operates “Citizen Review Panels,” committees of specially-trained volunteers who carefully review cases of children in foster care with a fine-toothed comb. Each panel meets monthly, and makes recommendations on a case-by-case basis to a judge, who can make sure they get done. Through the careful, objective review by citizen volunteers, FCR provides a much-needed added level of review of all components of the foster care system (foster parents, agencies, and the children themselves) to ensure the long-term well-being of each child. Over 40% of homeless in the U.S. “aged out” of foster care (reached 18 years-old in foster care and were released from state care), and about 90% of Florida inmates are former foster youth. The commitment of Foster Care Review volunteers can stop children from becoming part of these statistics.
For the second consecutive year, Schwartz Media Strategies was a proud sponsor of the 8th Annual Claws for Kids Luncheon today at Joe’s Stone Crabs, to benefit Foster Care Review, Inc. and its efforts to improve children’s lives. You can learn more about the organization here, and see our pictures below!