Foster homes needed in Flagler, Volusia counties

By Brittany Jones, Flagler County Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 9:19 PM EDT

More than 1,000 children in three Central Florida counties are in need of a home, and a Daytona Beach-based agency is asking for people to become foster parents.

  • 1,000 children need homes in Flagler, Volusia, Putnam
  • Community Partnership for Children seeking foster parents
  • Orientation set for 6 p.m. Thursday in DeLand ▼

Tina Ward has been a foster parent for three years. She said being a foster parent is a big job, but it's also a rewarding one.

"Once you put that structure in their lives, it helps create their future," Ward said.

Helping the children create a promising future, Ward said, is a big deal. Her family is helping by adopting children.

Mark Jones, CEO of the Community Partnership for Children, said there aren't enough homes like Ward's to support the children in Flagler, Volusia and Putnam counties.

"We doubled our population and we're short probably 50 to 60 homes as we sit here," Jones said.

In 2014, the Community Partnership for Children had about 650 children, Jones said. Now, the agency's caseworkers have about 1,200 children on their caseload.

Jones said there are so many children who are being ripped from families because of domestic violence and other incidents, which has resulted in the increase. It also forces the agency to place the children outside of their communities if there isn't anywhere available in the three counties CPC oversees.

"There's a dire need here," he said. "We want to make sure we can keep the children in their community with their friends and schools they came from."

Ward said it doesn't take much for a potential foster parent to get started.

"You don't have to be perfect to be a foster parent," she said. "We are far from perfect. You just have to have a caring heart and a lot of patience."

The Community Partnership for Children agency is holding an orientation for foster parents at its Volusia County location at 6 p.m. Thursday at 100 E. New York Ave., Suite 200, in DeLand.