Foster Care and Adoption
Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) offers a range of child welfare services with the overall mission of ensuring the safety and security of children, and strengthening and preserving families when possible.
The LSF Child Welfare Case Management program is funded by the Florida Department of Children and Families through the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida in Lee County and through Eckerd Community Alternatives in Pinellas County. Our current services include:
New Foster Parent Recruitment and Licensing (Lee County)
Interested in becoming a Foster Parent? Becoming a foster parent is one of the most rewarding experiences for a family. The SW CMO in Lee County works with interested families to obtain foster care licensure. Becoming a foster parent is a mutual selection process by which the family and the LSF Licensing Unit work together to assess the strength and needs of each family to determine if the foster care program is a suitable match for both the family and the agency.
Still have questions about how to become a foster parent in Lee County? Fill out the information below and an LSF representative will be in touch with you with more information.
Prevention Services and In-home Protective Supervision
With the goal of protecting abused or neglected children and preserving the family unit, LSF case managers provide protective supervision and work to strengthen families by creating a plan that addresses the issues causing the abuse or neglect. Case managers then monitor families’ progress, coordinate the wrap-around services they need, and regularly visit the children who have been abused or neglected to assess their ongoing safety and well-being.
Out of home Placement & Supervision
With the goal of proper reunification during circumstances in which children are placed outside of the home, LSF case managers work with families in a similar manner outlined above in order to address abuse and neglect. Finally LSF case managers work with appropriate authorities and partner agencies to determine whether a child should be reunified with their family or the parental rights should be terminated and the child placed up for adoption.
In order to assist in creating new foster homes, LSF conducts the following activities:
- Recruitment: Finding new foster homes and parents willing to care for a child in need.
- Training: Conduct regularly scheduled orientations centered on Parent Resources Information Development Education (PRIDE) training to identify potential foster parents.
- Licensing: Completing home studies which include background checks, home visits and inspections to properly license interested families as eligible foster homes.
- Re-licensing: Conducting the licensing process again at least 60 days prior to the expiration of a foster home’s license.
- Retention: Providing support activities and resources to current families to ensure they are satisfied and happy with their fostering experience.
In situations where it has become impossible to safely return children to the family home and the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) has been established by the court, LSF works to find a permanent home for the child through the adoption process.
LSF Adoptions Specialists perform the following during this process:
- Recruitment of Adoptive Homes: Find general or child-specific homes for children in need of adoption.
- Adoption Home Studies: Conduct a home study to ensure it is the right fit for both the child and the family seeking to adopt—studies consist of home visits, background checks, interviews, and inspections.
- PRIDE Training: Co-facilitate and coordinate regularly scheduled orientations centered on Parent Resources Information Development Education (PRIDE) training to identify potential adoptive families.
- Preparing of child studies, compiling required documentation, and legal reporting.