The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Centers (ECCAC) in Okaloosa and Walton counties have instituted monthly prevention and awareness programs to help the children and families they serve.
Foster parent caregivers are critically important to the safety, well-being and mental health of children. They take in children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect. There are 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.
There will also be a focus on kinship caregivers during November. These are grandparents and family members, or other non-relative adults who have a bond with the child in need of care. When a child is able to stay with people they know, it can help to maintain their sense of belonging. Kinship caregivers give children the chance to continue family traditions even when their biological parents aren’t able to be there.
Jasie Landeros heads up the prevention/awareness department as ECCAC’s Outreach Program Manager. She commented, “While fostering or care giving for a child can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. They have the ability to make a huge positive impact in the success of a child’s life. As well, we want to say a very special thank you to each and every one of our agency partners, and those who work tirelessly to ensure the kids in our communities are safe and healthy.”
If interested in being a foster parent, visit the Department of Children and Families website at www.myflfamilies.com
or the Families First Network at www.elakeviewcenter.org
ECCAC is in its 20th year of operation this year with centers in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs. It has provided more than 150,000 services at no cost to more than 15,000 children experiencing abuse, abandonment or neglect to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals.
For further information, visit www.eccac.org
or email or call Jasie Landeros at Jasie@eccac.org
, 850-833-9237, Ext. 267. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.