The Florida Department of Children and Families is streamlining the process to get children into forever homes faster.
DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris says the agency launched an initiative this year based on “permanency.”
Pattie and Richard Schreck are in the process of finalizing the adoption of their two-year-old grandson Michael. They say the process was rewarding, though sometimes frustrating.
“We’ve had him since he came home from the hospital, Pattie Schreck said. “We’ve been able to enjoy him growing up and bonding with our family and being part of the family since the day he was born. Now it’s getting it finalized so that everything is over and done. We don’t have to deal with the courts anymore.”
What a home run! Today, @FLDCFSecretary visited the Space Coast of Florida to celebrate 12 children finding their forever families at @BrevardFP’s 4th annual Celebration of Adoption! #ittakesavillage pic.twitter.com/TS6tgp1iwS
— Florida Department of Children and Families (@MyFLFamilies) November 13, 2023
The Schrecks say they saw the experience as rewarding, but also time consuming.
Harris says the state is working to make the process simpler.
“Our chief objective has been streamlining the process, looking at ways to reduce the paperwork and time in which it takes a family to adopt,” Harris said.
According to Harris, the initiative is already making a difference.
“We’re really excited about the gains that we’ve made through this process and look forward to launching it statewide,” Harris said.
Locally, the Brevard Family Partnership is working to help match kids with both foster and forever homes.
“We walk families who are interested through the entire process,” Brevard Family Partnership CEO Phil Scarpelli explained. “Hold their hand and engage them to what the expectations are.”
“It’s a rewarding experience,” Richard Schreck added. “Taking a child in that’s in need of a good family.”
There’s still a great need for both foster and adoptive families in Brevard County. For more information, click here.