The effort to make foster homes feel more like family homes takes a new turn in Manatee County.
"What we're calling these is foster family homes because it's a little different than a group home," says Bobbie Price, President of Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida, which is raising the money for the first two of several homes under construction off Ellenton-Gillette Road in Palmetto.
Unlike a a traditional foster home, in which foster parents take children into their homes, in these, the parents and children move into the 6-bedroom, 6.5-bath home together. "The big thing is that we keep sibling groups together," Price says. "That was one of our main goals."
Guardian Angels has partnered with Bradenton homebuilder Bruce Williams Homes for construction. Company President Britt Williams says the builder chooses a project like this each year. "It's fun sometimes to write a check to be helpful but it's really fun to be a part of actually building something," he says.
It's not built yet, but after more than six years in the planning, the first two homes have their foundations laid. The couples who will live in them will pay no rent, only their utilities. They will have to meet state standards to qualify as foster parents, and meet requirements of Florida Baptist Children's Homes, a faith-based non-profit that will supervise them. One is that they be regularly-attending members of a Christian church.
"They will be well-equipped to do what they're doing but they have to have a calling," says Price. "But they're going to get to move into a lovely brand-new home, too." They hope to complete construction on the first two homes in January.
© Copyright 2012 Southern Broadcast Corp of Sarasota All rights reserved. This article was originally posted on 8/29/2012 titled "A 'family foster home' going up in Palmetto" on mysuncoast.com