Did you know that every hour in Hillsborough County another report is received alleging that a child in our community has been abused or neglected? That’s a new report every hour of every day, 365 days a year! The result- an astonishing four children per day removed from their families in Hillsborough County and placed in foster care and over 150 new children opened to child welfare services in our community each month. These numbers are alarming and represent the 2nd highest statistic in the State of Florida.
Please join Eckerd in helping to unite our community and heal our broken families. In recognition of National Foster Care Month, Eckerd, in partnership with the Governor’s office, Department of Children and Families, the Hillsborough County Children’s Board, Idlewild Church, providers, local businesses, civic organizations, communities of faith, and citizens at large, will join forces in raising awareness of this concern and bridging the gap that has left our most vulnerable population- “our youth”, struggling to succeed.
Eckerd’s Annual Event, “Walk a Mile for a Child”, is intended to ensure all 3,200 children currently connected to the Hillsborough County child welfare system are recognized on May 18th when a walker from our community starts out to accomplish the “mile” on their behalf. This event is also intended to bridge the gap between our communities of faith and our local child welfare system. Our premise is that it really does take a community to raise our children and if we can connect families back to community support systems, we will be well on our way to reducing the trend of children entering our foster care system and begin the process of healing our families and our community.
On behalf of all 3,200 youth in Hillsborough County involved in our child welfare system, I ask that you come out, show your support and confirm to them that they are a priority and will never be forgotten! We can reduce these numbers and provide much needed second chances. However, we need YOU to join forces with Eckerd to accomplish this goal.