Valencia Panel Discussion: How Can Our Community Help Foster Youth?

Orlando, FL – Across the nation, communities are beginning to recognize the challenges that foster children face as they “age out” of the foster care system.

Since 2014, more than 400,000 American children have been placed in foster care at some point. But where do those children go when they reach adulthood? And what are their odds of becoming successful citizens?

Join us as Valencia College and Community Based Care of Central Florida host a Foster Care Summit on May 25, which will bring together many of the key players in the Central Florida discussion of foster care.

At this event, which begins at 11 a.m., tables will be set up to allow guests to learn about different community groups that help and advocate for foster youth. And from 1 to 3 p.m., there will be a panel discussion featuring representatives from: the Faine House of Orlando; Community Based Care of Central Florida; Valencia College; Heartland for Children, an organization that fights child abuse and neglect in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties; and Centerstone, which operates a community behavioral health hospital and outpatient practice in south Tampa Bay that works with children, teens, adults and seniors who face trauma, addictions, psychiatric illnesses and emotional disorders.

At Valencia, there are currently 170 students who have identified themselves as either a ward of the state, a child adopted after 1997, a child placed in the care of a relative or non-relative before they were 18 or a child who has aged out of the foster-care system.

Valencia leaders seek to shine a light on the needs of this population. The college, in partnership with Community-Based Care of Central Florida, is trying to provide access to meet the growing needs and demands of foster-care youth – a population that often goes unnoticed.

This event is open to the public. It will be held in Building 8, the Special Events Center, on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL.

Refreshments will be served.