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Better Together expands programming to East Central Florida
By: Better Together
Better Together has two programs – Better Families and Better Jobs – that help parents who are going through a hard time to keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. Established in Southwest Florida just over five years ago, the nonprofit's programming has rapidly expanded to reach families in 21 counties across the state. To date, the program has served over 5,400 children and kept 98% of families together, while helping nearly 39,000 job seekers find employment through church-based job fairs across 22 states.
In any given month, based on state data from the past year, Brevard, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties have more than 1,200 children in out-of-home care, largely including foster care and group homes. In all cases, each number represents a child no longer in the care of their parents. Better Together's Prevention Partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and other community partners is designed to allow the nonprofit to step in before foster care becomes necessary.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers and church communities, Better Together builds lasting support systems that help families cope with hardships and ensures that children are cared for in a safe home until the family can be reunited.
The Grove Church in Titusville recently opened its doors to Better Together's mission and its goal of expanding services to families on the Treasure Coast and Space Coast. Over the course of three services at The Grove Church, 50 families signed up to volunteer. With this support, Better Together expects to begin serving its first families by August 2023.
"The Grove Church is excited to partner with Better Together and its efforts to keep children out of foster care," said Pastor Barry Russell, community pastor for The Grove Church. "Christ has specifically called the church to fill this gap in James 1:27, 'Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.' We look forward to seeing how God uses this organization, the church and local families to be the hands and feet of Jesus!"
Churches interested in becoming a Better Together partner are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To learn more about Better Together, its programs and how to get involved, visit BetterTogetherUS.org.