North Central Florida is facing a foster home shortage.
There are currently 123 children and only 80 foster homes in the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida. In Alachua, there are 81 children in foster care and only 56 homes.
Partnership for Strong Families, a community-based care agency for the Third and Eighth Judicial Circuits of Florida, says a shortage of local foster homes could force children to leave the circuit in order to find temporary care.
“In addition to being removed from their home, they are being removed from their school, their friends, their peer groups and everything else they kind of knew,” said Patty Carroll, director of community relations for PFSF. “What we’re really needing right now is for local families that have a heart for children and foster care to step up and learn more.”
Those interested in becoming foster families may attend Pride, a nine-week program hosted by PFSF, which includes a licensing and background check. Classes begin May 3 for Lake City, May 24 for Trenton, and June 2 for Gainesville.