Foster Care Laws Statute in Florida
The foster care laws in Florida establish the manner in which minor children are brought into and maintained in the Florida Foster Care Program. The Florida foster care statutes set forth the objectives of foster care, the transitional nature of foster care and the ultimate goal of finding a permanent placement for a minor child in the program.
Florida foster care laws focus on permanency. The concept of permanency in Florida foster care statutes means that foster care is to be transitional. Children are not to linger unnecessarily in the Florida Foster Care Program. Rather, a child in the Florida Foster Care Program is to be reintegrated back into his own home (if possible) or made available for adoption and a permanent placement. Ideally, the reintegration process or, in the alternative, legal steps toward adoption should commence after about a year in foster care in most cases.
Florida foster care laws establish that in the Florida Foster Care Program, preference is given for placement with a family member. The underlying theory is that a child in foster care is more likely to thrive and feel safe when living with a family member as opposed to someone who is a stranger. State agencies and the courts involved in placing children in foster care need to investigate who is available who is a family member.
When a child is removed from her parents and placed into foster care, Florida foster care statutes require that the parents are provided with support services and educational programming. These services and related programs are designed to assist the parents in overcoming the problems that gave rise to the removal of their child from their home. The goal is reintegration. Toward this objective, the parents need to demonstrate commitment to reintegration and movement toward that goal within a year of the child's placement in foster care.