Florida Program Encourages Contact Between Parents and Children in Foster Care

An effort is currently underway in Florida to encourage communication between birth parents and their children who were removed from the family home. Because more than half of all foster children in Florida will reportedly be returned to the home of at least one biological parent, the Florida program is designed to allow parents to maintain meaningful contact with their children in the interim. Additionally, the program purportedly provides birth parents with an opportunity to continue to have a voice in how their children are raised. Similar programs in other states such as Oregon and New Hampshire also provide birth parents with parental mentors or legal representation.

Most parents who lose custody of their children in Florida are reportedly battling a drug or alcohol addiction. Others allegedly became abusive or were affected by extreme poverty. Under the program, family law judges and child welfare workers determine how much parental contact with children in foster care is appropriate. Additionally, biological parents are required to take steps towards rehabilitation.

Depending on the situation, parents who are allowed to maintain contact with children living in foster care may do so over the telephone or in person. Foster parents are also encouraged to take steps to help children with the transition between homes and speak positively about the child’s biological parents. According to Kendall Marlowe of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, programs such as the one in Florida often eliminate the issue of older foster children running away in order to meet with a birth parent illegally. Marlowe stated the organization actively encourages contact between birth parents and children who are removed from the family home whenever possible.

One Miami foster parent said her foster training failed to address the issue of how children placed in her care would maintain contact with biological parents. Although initially reticent to interact with the parents of her foster children, she reportedly changed her mind after Florida began to formally encourage such contact. She stated it often helps the children to interact with a loving biological parent.

Family law in the State of Florida is constantly evolving and the question of who will care for your children is always an emotional subject. If you are faced with a family law matter such as a child custody dispute or an adoption, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney.

If you need help resolving a family law matter, call Attorney Sandy T. Fox toll free at (800) 596-0579 today. He is a knowledgeable South Florida family lawyer who is available to advise you regarding all of your family law issues including adoption, child custody, child support, child visitation, domestic violence, paternity, name changes, alimony, and divorce. To speak with an experienced family law attorney today, please contact the Law Office of Sandy T. Fox through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Wedding Brokerage Companies Seek to Take the Sting Out of Being Left at the Altar in Florida and Throughout the Nation, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, October 23, 2012
Study Finds More Boomers Choose to Forgo Marriage in Florida, Nationwide, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2012
Additional Resources:

Agencies work to unite foster, biological parents, by Kelli Kennedy, Huffington Post