Naples, FL (May 11, 2021) On April 27, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida, proclaimed that May 2021 be designated as National Foster Care Month in Collier County. The proclamation, submitted by Youth Haven, Inc. states 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, there are 50 licensed foster homes in Collier County with a bed capacity of 84 children, currently there are 300 children under care and supervision in Collier County, and in the past 12 months 40 Collier County children were adopted into permanent, loving homes; 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, 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.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, National Foster Care Month is an initiative led and promoted by the Children’s Bureau. Each May, 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 are acknowledged. It is also dedicated to ensuring a bright future for the more than 423,000 children and youth in foster care nationwide.1
The children & teens that come to Youth Haven, located in Naples, Florida, have been abused, abandoned, neglected or are homeless. Founded in 1972, Youth Haven was established to fulfill an immediate need for emergency shelter for children who had been removed suddenly from a traumatic home situation. Its 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care.
Youth Haven’s mission, to protect and empower children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration, is only possible with the help of the community. Its partners, including the Collier County Sheriff’s Office; Collier County Public Schools; Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, and Friends of Foster Children, among many others, helps create a circle of support for the children and teens who rely on Youth Haven. With the shortage of foster care homes in Collier County, the need for care is critical, now more than ever.
“I welcome the day when I wake up and places like Youth Haven are no longer needed” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven’s Executive Director. “However, we are a long way from that vision, and our youth need help now. Your support is more important than ever. Together, we can make transformational changes in the lives of our youth, one child at a time.”
Visit www.myflfamilies.com to learn more about becoming a foster parent, or consider a financial gift to the organizations in Collier working to better the lives of children in foster care. To learn more about Youth Haven, please call (239) 774-2904 or visit youthhavenswfl.org.
1.Child Welfare Information Gateway https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/about/
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 boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.