Letter: Become A Foster Parent

As the back-to-school season wraps up in Palm Beach County, the school district asked students what their goals were for the upcoming school year. For most of the 193,000 children from pre-K through 12th grade who were welcomed back, the answers were simple: “I want to read better,” “I want to be nice,” and “I want to improve on my communication skills.” However, for some students, their goal is not as simple.

Approximately 1,130 children living in Palm Beach County had to transition to a new school, a different neighborhood and an alternate family unit. Nearly 459 are living in licensed foster care or group homes with one goal in mind, safety and stability.

Statewide, Florida has approximately 23,374 children currently in out-of-home care. This is a devastating reality that impacts communities everywhere. The unsung heroes we call foster parents are the people who stand in the gap for these kids to provide a sense of safety, comfort and support. These local children have one primary need that can ease this transition and every other one they face during this unpredictable time in their lives: one caring adult.

The National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) recruits, trains and supports foster parents throughout Palm Beach County. NYAP foster parents receive ongoing support, a monthly subsidy, as well as free medical and childcare services. In the spirit of caring for people, connecting communities and promoting peace, NYAP is seeking your support.

This school year, let’s show our support for vulnerable children. These children need you! Becoming a foster parent is taking that leap of faith, reaching out and stepping up to the challenge of helping youth. Help the children of Palm Beach County reach their goal this school year and become a foster parent!

Anyone interested in learning about the foster parent experience can find answers by calling (954) 213-9507, visiting our web site at www.nyap.org or liking us on Facebook @NYAPPB.

Siniqua Copeland, National Youth Advocate Program, Royal Palm Beach

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