Local attorney Mollie Garrett and Florida Support Services counselor of 18 years, Ashanta Albury, visited the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise to discuss the foster care system in Nassau County.
While reconnecting with birth parents is the ultimate goal, perhaps more important, and desperately needed here on Amelia Island is having families available to serve as “respite” or temporary homes for children in need. Ms. Garrett described her personal experiences with fostering children.
Said Mrs. Garrett about her many experiences with FSS, “My husband and I had a desire to have more children and realized the room in our home and our hearts could be used to serve those children with an immediate need. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”
Ms. Albury stressed the importance of further strengthening the bonds with the children and the child’s natural family once the foster care need has been fulfilled. This can be achieved by keeping that connection going by becoming an aunt or uncle, godparent, or mentor which benefits all concerned. Ideally this is the best case scenario, and one that FSS strongly encourages and attempts to facilitate.
Of the twenty-three children in the foster care system, only six are with families here in Fernandina. The reminder of the children must go to foster families in Jacksonville.
The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets weekly at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club at 7:30am. For more information about the club or to attend a breakfast meeting, please contact President, Cindy Jackson, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.