Naples, Fl (May 1, 2022).
On April 26, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida, proclaimed May 2022 as National Foster Care Awareness Month in Collier County. The proclamation was accepted by Nadereh Salim, CEO of Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, Linda Goldfield, CEO of Youth Haven, and Denise Murphy, President of Youth Haven’s Board of Directors. The proclamation declared that:
- WHEREAS, children are key to our community’s future success, prosperity and quality of life and have a right to thrive, learn and grow in a safe and loving environment; and,
- WHEREAS, we must come together as a community to recognize the importance of caring for children who have experienced abuse and neglect, supporting family reunification and building strong communities; and,
- WHEREAS, the primary reasons for children being removed from the parents and entering foster care are parental substance abuse, inability to cope and care for the child, and inadequate supervision; and,
- WHEREAS, there are numerous individuals, nonprofit organizations and public servants who are dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of children and teens in foster care; and,
- WHEREAS, there are 53 licensed foster homes in Collier County with a bed capacity of 98 children, yet on average 279 children are served each month in Collier County, and in the past 12 months, 51 children were adopted into permanent, loving homes; and,
- WHEREAS, through partnerships, nonprofit organizations, child welfare staff, and public and private agencies, there is a collaborative effort to ensure that children in the foster care system are supported and successful.
NOW THEREFORE, be it proclaimed by the Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida, that May 2022 be designated as NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH IN COLLIER COUNTY.
All of the children and teens that come to Youth Haven have been abused, abandoned, neglected or are homeless. Founded in 1972 and in continuous operation for 50 years, Youth Haven was established to fulfill an immediate need for emergency shelter for children who had been removed suddenly from a traumatic home situation. Our 18.5-acre therapeutic campus houses 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Youth Haven views challenges as opportunities in helping each child gain confidence, independence and success as they continue to strengthen the community they serve; laying the foundation for children and teens to have hope for a brighter, better future.
“National Foster Care Month is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau. Each May, we take time to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. We use this time to renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the more than 407,000 children and youth in foster care, and celebrate those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.1”
“It’s so important to bring some much-needed attention to National Foster Care Month. The children and teens that arrive to our campus come from traumatic situations and are here because of a shortage of foster care homes. We urge the community to reach out to the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida to find out how they could help support local, vulnerable children and teens,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Chief Executive Officer
To learn more about becoming a foster parent in Southwest Florida, please visit https://childrensnetworkflorida.org/
For media inquiries, please contact Laura Lafakis, Youth Haven Director of Development, at 239-687-5175 or Laura.Lafakis@youthhavenswfl.org.
About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for children and teens removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s therapeutic campus, located in Naples, Florida, houses 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Youth Haven provides programs that create transformational change in its youth. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier and the Keys, and a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient. It also holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is “To provide Home, Hope, and Healing to abused and neglected children and teens in Southwest Florida.” For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.