First Lady Casey DeSantis this month announced that 59,000 Florida families in need will receive a one-time payment of $450 per child this summer, with foster and adoptive families as the focal point.
These funds — as part of the state’s Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative — will aid families affected by inflation, yet are preparing to send children back to school next month, according to a statement made by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The focus of foster and adoptive families is part of an expansion to the initiative to better provide “guidance for immediate and future family needs,” according to a statement from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.
“I am on a mission to make sure that no child in Florida goes without hope, happiness, and a home,” Casey DeSantis said in a Tampa ceremony launching the payment program on July 15. “That means doing everything we can to support those who have stepped up and welcomed these children into their homes, as well as local partners that are already lending families a helping hand.”
The announcement was made in conjunction with Gov. DeSantis signing a $35.5 million budget to support those families, but to qualify, requirements must be met. The Florida resident must be a foster parent, a relative caregiver, a non-relative caregiver, be a part of a guardianship assistance program or be a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance.
Those who qualify do not need to apply or take any extra steps. Florida’s DCF announced that the checks will automatically be sent out this month.
“Our department is always looking for ways to build strong and resilient families, and these announcements will be an immense boost to our caregivers who are preparing to send children back to school this fall,” DCF secretary Shevaun Harris said at the Tampa announcement. “We are so grateful for the First Lady’s work to give Floridians the tools and community connections needed to raise happy, healthy children.”
Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity was founded by Casey DeSantis and the DCF as a way to unite communities primarily through “Care Navigators,” who “guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity, economic self-sufficiency, and hope,” according to a DCF statement. The program is intended to benefit children in foster care — and those aging out of foster care — as well as pregnant mothers who are battling substance abuse.
For more information, Hope Florida representatives can be reached at 850-300-HOPE, or by visiting HopeFlorida.com. The DCF has established a designated hotline for assistance, as well, at 850-300-4323.