Tampa, Florida—May 7, 2021—The National Youth Advocate Program (“NYAP”), a local non-profit and leading provider of specialized foster care services in the state of Florida, has been working alongside the Tampa Bay community for a new program designed to serve some of the county’s most challenging youth in foster care. Via a contract with Eckerd Connects, NYAP finds “ordinary” families in Hillsborough, Pasco, or Pinellas Counties and provides specialized training and coaching for them to become CANEI Foster Parents to help these youth, many of whom have experienced trauma and neglect. What makes NYAP’s CANEI Foster Parent program different is that all youth and foster families will receive NYAP’s “Constant and Never Ending Improvement” (CANEI) services, a program model that utilizes restorative justice and other evidence informed approaches to help youth reduce recidivism, teaching them how to live positively and productively in their own communities. Providing so much more than traditional therapy, CANEI involves service learning projects and emphasizes community connectedness, educational/vocational support, and mindfulness. CANEI Foster Parents who are caring for Tampa Bay’s foster teens will receive financial compensation higher than the traditional average from the State and more than double the amount of training than a traditional foster family. In addition to compensation and coaching, CANEI Foster Parents will also receive intensive ongoing support once a youth is placed in their family, including weekly group therapy sessions for the youth and
weekly family meetings with NYAP’s CANEI team.
NYAP is using May, National Foster Care Month, as a way to raise awareness for the more than 400 youth that are currently in unstable homes or lack permanency in Pasco, Pinealls, and Hillsborough Counties. NYAP is seeking businesses, clubs, social service agencies, or religious organizations to help spread the word about the program by placing a sign in their yard for the month of May. You can also help by posting a flyer or hosting a speaking-engagement.
NYAP’s CANEI Foster Care Program will be the first of its kind in Florida, and the organization will also offer CANEI programming for youth with behavioral issues who are living at home or in other placements in the community, in order to prevent further juvenile justice involvement or entry into the foster care system.
Individuals who are interested in becoming licensed foster parents with NYAP or getting involved with National Foster Care Month should call or text: 813-998-5135.
National Youth Advocate Program is a fully accredited, 501(c)(3) organization with operations in nine states, and has run one of the largest specialized foster care programs in the state of Florida for the past 12 years. Since 1978, the organization has been a dynamic advocate for the rights of children, youth and families. NYAP’s continuum of care for youth and families consists of prevention and intervention, reunification and permanency, positive youth development and foster care. Visit our website at www.nyap.org.