SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
On any given day, there are about 800 children in Florida’s foster care system available and waiting with no family identified to adopt them. Over 50 percent of the children waiting are minorities. May is National Foster Care Month.
The One Church One Child program was founded in 1980 to help the state of Illinois successfully address the disproportionate number of African-American children in the foster care system. The program was implemented in Florida in March 1988 to address the state’s overrepresentation problem.
One Church One Child of Florida partners with the Florida Department of Children and Families, churches and community-based care lead agencies and local organizations to help raise awareness and educate the faith-based community and individuals regarding the needs of children in foster care.
Good homes needed
The Rev. Beverly H. Lane serves as the Florida State Board of Directors president and regional vice president for the national One Church One Child program.
“One Church One Child is the source of finding comfort and love for our children who are in need of a good home. We want to keep One Church One Child, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, available to reach out to every child in need to find a home with love as close as our own beating heart. We need good, God-fearing people such as one’s self to help One Church One Child accomplish our goal of accommodating our children,’’ Lane said.
How to help
There is a need for families (single or married) to provide a loving, permanent home for children in foster care, waiting to be adopted. Critically needed as well are families who can provide a home for children on a temporary basis (foster care) until they can be safely returned to their families or placed for adoption.
The search is also for families who can serve as mentors and offer guidance to children in foster care. Churches are needed as prayer partners and can also provide additional support for children through a Project Watch-Care program. In addition, volunteers are needed to assist coordinators with recruitment efforts.
For more information about becoming an adoptive or foster parent, mentor, partner or volunteer, contact the following: SunCoast Region Coordinator LaKay Fayson at 813-740-0210 or email@example.com, Northeast Region Coordinator Dr. Mari Hope at 904-764-3770 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Southeast Region Coordinator Cora Perry at 561-313-3087. For other areas of Florida, call 850-414-5620 or 888-283-0886. The Florida website is www.ococfl.org.