2016 Legislature                                   CS for SB 860
    2         An act relating to foster families; creating s.
    3         683.333, F.S.; designating the second week of February
    4         of each year as “Foster Family Appreciation Week”;
    5         providing an effective date.
    7         WHEREAS, the family is the very foundation of our
    8  communities, state, and country, and
    9         WHEREAS, parents serve as a child’s primary source of love,
   10  attachment, identity, self-esteem, and support, and
   11         WHEREAS, foster parents open their homes and hearts to
   12  children whose families are in crisis and play a vital role in
   13  helping children heal, reconnect, grow, and flourish, and
   14         WHEREAS, foster parents are professional parents and full
   15  partners in the commitment to ensuring the well-being of
   16  children in foster care, and
   17         WHEREAS, many of the children adopted in this state have
   18  been provided a permanent home by their foster parents, and
   19         WHEREAS, foster parents play a critical role in the Quality
   20  Parenting Initiative, which places a priority on quality
   21  parenting, putting the needs of children first, advocating for
   22  children in their care, and supporting and mentoring birth
   23  families, and
   24         WHEREAS, in this state, more than 6,000 children and youth
   25  in foster care have a safe, secure, and stable family foster
   26  home, and
   27         WHEREAS, compassionate individuals, faith-based
   28  communities, and public and private organizations work to
   29  increase public awareness of the enduring and valuable
   30  contributions of foster parents and the needs of children in
   31  foster care, and
   32         WHEREAS, those families who are able to serve as foster
   33  parents should be wholeheartedly encouraged to do so, and
   34         WHEREAS, the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child
   35  Protection, the Legislature, the Department of Children and
   36  Families, community-based care lead agencies, the guardian ad
   37  litem program, the Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent
   38  Association, and state and local agencies and organizations all
   39  provide support for foster families, and
   40         WHEREAS, to continue to commend and support foster families
   41  in the years ahead, the people of this state are called upon to
   42  recognize the positive impact that foster parents have on
   43  children in foster care and to consider providing a loving,
   44  supportive home for children in need by becoming foster parents,
   47  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   49         Section 1. Section 683.333, Florida Statutes, is created to
   50  read:
   51         683.333 Foster Family Appreciation Week.—
   52         (1) The second week of February of each year is designated
   53  as “Foster Family Appreciation Week” to recognize the enduring
   54  and invaluable contributions that foster parents provide to the
   55  children in their care and, thus, to the future of this state.
   56         (2) The Department of Children and Families, local
   57  governments, and other agencies are encouraged to sponsor events
   58  to promote awareness of the contributions made by foster
   59  families to the vitality of the state.
   60         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.