We often talk about the need for quality foster care in Palm Beach County however there is also a great need in some of the northern counties as well. In January of 2015, Place of Hope launched our Homes of Hope program on the Treasure Coast. This program recruits, trains, licenses and supports foster families in Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. Place of Hope is the fastest growing children’s organization on the Treasure Coast. With 51 new children being removed from their homes each month, the need is great and growing. Currently we have 33 licensed homes on the Treasure Coast in an effort to meet the growing need.
The role of foster parent is an integral one. Our foster parents have the opportunity to love on these hurting children and instill value and worth no matter how long or short they are in their care. Two of our amazing foster parents are Larry and Paula Gerardi. Larry and Paula have been licensed for one year and in that time they have served 10 children from infant to 7 years old. The Gerardi’s have two biological children ages 6 and 4 that have been instrumental in bringing a sense of comfort to the scared and traumatized children. Some of the children that they cared for went on to live with relatives and others have successfully reunified with their biological parents. Paula is adamant about making sure each child receives the services they deserve and having a background in special needs, Paula works tirelessly to help the children progress developmentally and socially. Though the family has faced many exhausting days and trials, they are quick to see the beauty and positive side to fostering and love to share their story with others to spread awareness of the need right in their own community.
The need is great and we cannot do it alone! It takes a community of caring individuals to provide quality care for these wounded children on a daily basis.
There are several ways you can become involved in Place of Hope, Treasure Coast and help provide a safe, loving environment for the children in our backyard.
- Be a foster parent: www.placeofhope.com/foster
- Be an Angel Mom: Angel Moms serve as ambassadors in the community for Place of Hope Treasure Coast by increasing the awareness of the need for more foster families and funds to support the essential, life-giving programs at Place of Hope. Angel Moms are provided training of our history, our programs and our model of care. Also, they have the opportunity to volunteer and use their gifts and talents to tangibly serve. Lastly, Angel Moms may elect to be a part of our Giving Circle by contributing financially to support the children in our care. www.placeofhope.com/treasure-coast
- Events: Sea of Hope Angel Moms Luncheon, www.placeofhope.com/event/sea-of-hope
For more information on how you can get involved and make a lasting difference in the lives of these foster children on the Treasure Coast, contact Jamie Bond: 561-775-7195, [email protected].