Kid's Central: Helping Find Homes For Those Who Need It Most
OCALA - According to the Children's Bureau there are over five thousand children in public foster care in the state of Florida, waiting to be adopted. But a local organization is trying to decrease that number. A group out of Ocala is helping to find homes for those who need it the most.
Last year in Marion county alone More than 300 children were removed from their homes for abuse, neglect or perhaps lack of supervision.
“People don't realize how big of an issue it really is, cause you can't tell a foster child just by looking at them... They look like a regular child majority of the time," Joey Johnson who was recently adopted said.
Noah and Levi, who are six and ten are now part of the Campbell family because they were recently adopted. "I love my new home because before I was not cared for or anything like at my biological houses. So now with my new family I am well cared for... I get fed every day and it's a pleasure to be there too," Levi said.
But unlike Noah and Levi, some kids are never placed in a permanent home spending their whole lives in the system until they are 18.
But one teen in the system, Ethan was placed in a home right before he was 18. "I had just kinda given up hope that maybe I wasn't going to be adopted by my 18th birthday and I would have to age out of the system and live on my own and do things that I wasn't taught yet and wasn't prepared for the real world." With the help of Kids Central he can now call himself a Johnson.
Kids Central is an organization that promotes the welfare of children in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Sumter and Marion county. The non-profit put together an event Saturday, to raise awareness... It's part of their "open your heart" program.
One of the mentors, Antron McCullough who spent his childhood in foster care says he can connect with the youths he advises. "I feel like I am a role model, you know? I am setting an example for the youth and letting them know even the situation that you're in you can come out of it and you can be somebody... You know you have that support... The foster parents, the adoptive parents who are behind them. So I just really feel like I am giving back to the community as well as those youths who are in the system," McCullough said.
In circuit 5 there are about 400 foster beds... But in reality there's a need for more than 600. "As a former foster parent and an adoptive parent... Every child in this world deserves a place where they feel loved and safe and that place might just be with you," Rosey Moreno a Foster Parent Recruiter for Kid's Central said.
Click here for more information on Kids Central.
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