President Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2015
Senate Passes Legislation to Help Children in Foster Care Find Adoptive Families
The Florida Senate today passed House Bill 7013, Adoption and Foster Care by Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). The legislation, part of the “Work Plan 2015” joint agenda announced by Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island), seeks to promote adoption of children in foster care and support adoptive families throughout the state.
“We have nearly 700 children in Florida who are ready to be adopted into a forever family,” said President Gardiner. “More than 300 of these children have been waiting for more than three years to find a loving, permanent home to call their own.”
House Bill 7013 creates a program to award incentive payments to community-based care (CBC) lead agencies and their subcontractors for achieving specified adoption performance standards. The legislation re-creates a program to provide an additional adoption benefit for qualifying employees of state agencies who adopt a child from the foster care system and requires the Governor to select and recognize one or more individuals, families, or entities that have made significant contributions to the adoption of children from foster care.
“I am certain there are families who have plenty of room in their hearts, but are concerned about the additional long and short-term expenses that come with growing your family,” continued President Gardiner. “Whether it is the purchase of a bigger car, retrofitting a home to accommodate equipment for a child with special needs, or just the extra comfort that comes with adding more money to your rainy day fund, we hope this legislation can make the difference for families considering adoption. At the same time, we can reward hardworking community-based care organizations that go the extra mile to find homes for children in need and highlight some of the families who are already making a tremendous difference as adoptive parents.”
For more information on House Bill 7013 and the Work Plan 2015 Joint Agenda, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.
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