LSF Partners with See Us Now to Spread Awareness on Foster Teens in Crisis During National Foster Care Month

(Tampa, FL—May 13, 2024)Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) has partnered with See Us Now, a student led organization designed to advocate and bring awareness to the plight of children in foster care.

On Friday, May 10, See Us Now joined LSF at our Pinellas CMO to honor case managers who help foster youths find temporary and permanent homes. Kari Wagner and her See Us Now team hosted two food trucks at the celebration. Forge Wood Fired Pizza and Wich Press Food Truck were on site providing free lunches to the LSF case managers.

May marks National Foster Care Month. This year’s theme, “Engaging Youth. Building Supports. Strengthening Opportunities.”—shines a light on how we can best support young people and help them successfully transition to adulthood. At LSF, this is an opportunity to celebrate case managers and highlight the need for foster parents, particularly of teens, who often struggle with the trauma they have faced in adolescence.

“Foster teens can feel as if no one understands what they have been through. At times they run which can put them in unhealthy and sometimes dangerous situations. See Us Now is an advocate for teens in crisis, particularly in the foster system. We are grateful to partner with them, especially during National Foster Care Month,” Angela DeVore, Executive Program Director of LSF’s Pinellas CMO said.

See Us Now is dedicated to advocating on behalf of foster teens to create more safe, consistent housing. Better placement options reduce teens’ risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking and other dangers they face while on the run.

With roughly 400,000 children in foster care in the United States and 22,000 foster kids in Florida, LSF served nearly 4,700 foster children in the last fiscal year. While accounting for nearly 25% of foster services in Florida, LSF prides itself on providing the best support to incoming foster parents, offering training, resources and subsidies to ensure families can thrive. In the Pinellas CMO alone, LSF serves 612 children with 132 of those being teenagers. 


“It’s such an honor to recognize the case managers who strive each day to improve the lives of thousands of children in foster care. Their dedication, passion, and perseverance give these kids a chance to not only survive but thrive,” Kari Wagner with See Us Now said. “They give hope when there is none. They give a safe haven when danger is all most of these children have ever known. We are thankful for the work case managers do and want them to know it doesn’t go unnoticed. Instead, it inspires us and everyone they touch.”


Over 100 staff work at the Pinellas CMO, each person lending something different to our system of care in Pinellas. These staff members serve as the front line, communicating with children as they undergo massive changes and executing family’s case plan.


“Our case managers are the backbone of the work we do in our CMOs. They not only touch the lives of the families we serve, but they act as a sounding board and safe space for the children and teens in our care,” DeVore said.

About LSF

LSF is a statewide nonprofit dedicated to helping the most vulnerable Floridians. We do this by reducing the suicide and drug addiction rate, giving families in crisis the support they need to persevere, and making sure those in poverty get the education they need to close the achievement gap.