SARASOTA, FL – Local child welfare organization Safe Children Coalition celebrated National Adoption Month in November in highly appropriate fashion: by helping 45 children find their “forever families” in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.
This number marks a new single-month record for Safe Children Coalition. The organization facilitated 28 adoptions in Manatee County, 13 in Sarasota County, and 4 in DeSoto County in November.
In some cases, where it is not possible for children who have been removed from a household to safely return home to their birth families, adoptive homes are needed. In these situations, Safe Children Coalition works to find permanent placements for children and offers training for adoptive families with room in their hearts and homes.
“At Safe Children Coalition, we believe that every child deserves a safe, loving forever family,” said Safe Children Coalition president and CEO Brena Slater. “Every adoption offers a reason to celebrate and changes the lives of both the children being adopted and the parents who get to experience the joy of adding a child, or children, to their families. We encourage community members interested in adopting to contact us to learn more about the process.”
Safe Children Coalition provided critical, life-saving programs and services to nearly 9,300 children in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties last year. In fiscal year 2022, the organization helped to facilitate 183 adoptions; to-date this fiscal year, 70 children have been adopted with Safe Children Coalition’s assistance and guidance.
While community members may not realize it, there are many children in crisis in our circuit. Drug abuse by a parent or caretaker is the top reason children enter into Safe Children Coalition’s system of care, followed by domestic violence in the home, physical abuse, neglect, inadequate housing, and abandonment. There is an average of 46 children coming into care requiring placement each month. Once a court has deemed it unsuitable for a child to be returned to his or her birth family, the child is then eligible for adoption.
During the pandemic, a backlog of adoption cases developed because the courts were shut down; however, case workers continued to complete home studies and maintain case files while waiting for the courts to reopen. Case workers in southern areas impacted by the hurricanes have relied on staff to cross county lines in order to complete the necessary steps to finalize adoptions.
Currently, more than 50 foster children in Circuit 12 need a loving forever family. For families interested in adopting a child, the next eight-week, 30-hour Adoption Parent Training class begins January 17, 2023, via Zoom. To learn more about how you can change the life of a child through adoption, please call 941-721-7670, ext. 247 or visit sccfl.org/adopt.
There is also an urgent need for families with room in their hearts and homes to foster children in the state care system. For more information, call 941-404-0079 or visit sccfl.org/foster.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies that provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include: child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services as well as other social service programs. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.