ENROLLED 2016 Legislature CS for SB 860 2016860er 1 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. 6 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, 45 NOW, THEREFORE, 46 47 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 48 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.