The death of any child is a tragedy. To learn that the death of 13-month-old Mackenzie Fewox was allegedly at the hands of her caregiver, Dustin Gregory Todd, is extremely troubling for all of us at the Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association.
In the coverage of Mr. Todd’s arrest, he is often incorrectly identified as a “foster parent.” This is a mischaracterization of his relationship to to the child. Mackenzie was placed in the home because of a relative relationship to another member of the household, this is known as a “relative placement.” Mr. Todd was not a licensed foster parent, the home was not a foster home.
In Florida, all foster parents must be licensed. The process to become a foster parent includes several weeks of specialized training; extensive local, state and federal background checks (including fingerprinting and reference checks); personal interviews; medical clearance; financial review and home safety inspection(s). To maintain licensure, foster parents must participate in continuing education and renew their medical clearance and home inspection(s) annually. (Background checks are renewed at regular intervals.)
The Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association is dedicated to the continuous improvement of the child welfare system. FSFAPA provides support and high-quality training for caregivers and advocates for families across the state.
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There is a need for foster homes in nearly every corner of the state. Do you have what it takes?