HomeCharityFinancial crisis for Central Florida Foster Care Nonprofit

Financial crisis for Central Florida Foster Care Nonprofit

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Embrace Families Community Based Care, a central nonprofit in managing foster care across Central Florida, is currently facing a significant financial crisis. The organization has warned the state about its impending insolvency, which could jeopardize its ability to support vulnerable children under its care.

For 20 years, Embrace Families has been dedicated to serving the Central Florida community. The financial difficulties it faces are attributed to rising operational costs and insufficient state funding. However, Miguel Nevarez, the press secretary for the Department of Children and Families (DCF), has raised concerns about the nonprofit’s financial management, including issues with placing children in unlicensed settings and providing inadequate support to contractors.

Angela Folger, the chair of Embrace Families’ board, has responded to these allegations, stating that the organization has repeatedly sought help from DCF to no avail. The decision to end their contract early, now set to expire in June, was made to protect the organization’s reputation and integrity.

The organization’s financial struggles are evident in its budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, which includes drastic cuts and the elimination of 38 positions. Embrace Families has been open about its financial records, highlighting challenges such as workforce shortages and the increasing needs of children in the foster care system, especially those with developmental, mental health, and behavioral issues.

Despite receiving a legislative grant of nearly $13 million to cover deficits, DCF has withheld a significant portion of these funds, further straining Embrace Families’ finances. The organization also contends that the current model for funding foster care disproportionately shortchanges Central Florida.

Recent changes in the organization’s leadership have also been noted, with the departure of its CEO and COO. Additionally, a DCF-ordered audit in August revealed issues like double-billing the state, leading to Embrace Families reimbursing over $500,000.

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As Embrace Families navigates these challenges, the stability of foster care services in Central Florida and the welfare of the children in the system remain critical concerns. The organization’s ability to continue serving the community’s most vulnerable members is at a crucial juncture.

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