SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hundreds of Suncoast children in foster care will soon be getting a new home. The All Star Children's Foundation is building a five-acre foster care campus on 17th Street between Beneva and Lockwood Ridge roads.
“These children didn’t choose this. Some of these families didn’t choose this, so you know, it’s very hard, but right now, trying to get these kids treatment and therapy when they need it can takes weeks and sometimes months,” Ashley Evans, a foster mom of seven, explained.
Last year, more than 1,000 children in Sarasota and Manatee counties were taken from their homes and placed in Florida’s foster care system – many having lived through extremely traumatizing experiences.
The Campus of Hope and Healing is designed to be a place where they can learn to get through it.
“They’ll be able to create the path that they want to be in, and not have to feel like they’re in constant mode of PTSD and on high alert because they don’t feel safe and don’t trust people anymore,” Lucia Branton, the Executive Director of The All Star Children's Foundation, said.
This campus will be an escape for these kids, but in a homelike environment. There will be six homes with up to five foster children living in each being cared for by trained foster parents.
“These people are going to want to help these children,” Evans expressed.
Not just the parents, but every single person on the campus will be trained in trauma care and recovery. Plus, the site will have a clinical treatment building, a clubhouse with a tutoring lab and several areas for activities.
“What we’re trying to do is help each child understand that they don’t have to be victims to their past. They can feel empowered and trust again and feel safe, and they can do that on an All Star Campus,” Branton explained.
The All Star Children’s Foundation is still accepting applications for foster parents who would want to live on this campus and care for these kids. All the information can be found here.