All Star Children’s Foundation Seeks Foster Parents for its Innovative Campus of Hope and Healing
All Star’s call for committed couples coincides with May’s National Foster Care Month.
The organization will begin accepting children into its on-campus homes in late fall.
SARASOTA, FL – All Star Children’s Foundation (ASCF) seeks six caring couples to become foster parents in six single-family homes on the site of its new “Campus of Hope and Healing” in Sarasota County. Interested applicants should contact Lindsey May, ASCF’s program director, at 941-217-6503.
“All Star has an awesome opportunity for those wanting to play a big role in a ground-breaking approach to foster care,” says May. “We are looking for couples who are ready to make a difference in a child’s life. Perhaps you are a recent retiree, or just out of grad school, or maybe you are an experienced foster parent who desires to be a change agent. If you are looking for a satisfying and fulfilling challenge, we’d love to hear from you,” says May.
All Star is combining the latest in brain science and evidenced-based, trauma-informed therapies and applying that to its work with children who have experienced trauma. “Foster parents are a critical piece of our transformative work,” says May.
All Star’s campus will be a continuum of trauma-informed care. That means that when a child walks onto the campus, each person that child encounters will have been trained to understand trauma and its impact. Clinicians will utilize evidence-based and best-practice treatment therapies shown to facilitate recovery from trauma. Children living in the residential homes on campus will be cared for by foster parents who have been trained in trauma care. All Star will place children first removed from their homes and will keep siblings together.
“Our laser focus on trauma-focused therapies is what makes us different,” says May. “Each of our children served has experienced trauma. They carry those experiences with them, coloring their world view. Those views are the basis for startling and often troubling reactions. We provide caregivers with the tools to properly interpret behaviors and offer ways to deal with these issues without retraumatizing the child.”
How does it work?
ASCF’s foster parents must agree to a two-year commitment, starting mid-October. The foster children in their care will range from infancy to 18 years old. Each house will have five bedrooms and 3 ½ baths. Foster parents can work if it doesn’t interfere with their responsibilities. Each residence will be licensed for up to five foster children.
Foster parents will be required to complete ASCF’s eight-week training session. This course will educate couples on meeting the needs of displaced children, while offering useful strategies on strengthening the relationship between the child and his or her biological parents and relatives. They must also be licensed by the State of Florida through the Safe Children Coalition.
All Star began treating children this month on an out-patient basis and anticipates accepting children into its family foster homes by the end of 2019. Some 225 children will be treated in the first operational year.
ASCF’s call for committed foster parents happens to coincide with National Foster Care Month. According to May, the timing couldn’t be better. In 2018, more than 1,500 children in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties were removed from their homes and placed in Florida state’s foster care system.
“We’ll honor National Foster Care Month by renewing our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the thousands of children and youth in foster care across our region,” she says. “Children are the promise of tomorrow—and incredibly vulnerable to the caretakers they depend on today.”
To find out more about being an ASCF foster parent, contact Lindsey May at (941) 217-6503. For more information about All Star Children’s Foundation, visit www.allstarchildrensfoundation.org. The campus is located at 3300 17th St, Sarasota.
The All Star campus is comprised of:
- A 13,000-square-foot clinical treatment building, where, in collaboration with JHACH, All Star will embark on a mission to use brain science research to expand the boundaries of neuroscience while using evidence-based, trauma-informed care to change the outcomes for children in foster care. Children will receive trauma-focused therapy and be offered ancillary support therapies such as pet, art and music, to further their healing process. The building will also house a beautiful children’s boutique.
- Six, single-family, licensed foster homes. Each home will accommodate 5 children, keep siblings together, and feature on-site foster parents. In addition to state mandated requirements, All Star foster parents will receive 8 weeks of trauma-focused training educating them on how to meet the needs of a traumatized child while strengthening the parent child relationship.
- The Clubhouse, the heart of the All Star community, is where children and their families will gather to play, talk, learn and celebrate. It features a multi-purpose social room, and tutoring lab with computers.
- A playground, a tricycle trail, a community garden, picnic area and outdoor movie theater.
About All Star Children’s Foundation
All Star Children’s Foundation is a public, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to healing the effects of child abuse and transforming foster care through innovation, science, and compassion. This project has been partially funded under an agreement with the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families. Partnering with leaders across the child welfare system, All Star has tapped best-in-class partners to assist in their mission. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH) is providing critical clinical advice as well as serving as the lead research entity. The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, a major catalyst for improving the lives of the less fortunate in the community, has joined forces with the mission. And, All Star was invited by Casey Family Programs to participate in a national work group focused on transforming child welfare practice in the country. Casey Family Programs is the largest operating foundation in the country focused on foster care. For more information, visit www.allstarchildrensfoundation.org or call 941-217-6503.