“Our kids have had a rough time before they came to us, and chances are they will have a rough time after they leave – maybe for a long time. Somewhere down the road, they are going to remember that there was a period in their lives when life was good when people cared and there were loving people in this world who made them feel special – because they are. That’s A Kid’s Place. We all do our little part to make these children feel loved.”
– Dottie Berger MacKinnon
A Kid’s Place provides residential services to children from birth to age 18, who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment and provides a variety of services which meet the social, educational, medical and psychological needs of the child. Our primary focus is to keep sibling groups together in a safe, stable, home-like environment until a more permanent placement can be provided.
A Kid’s Place is a unique program designed to support the foster care system by providing state of the art residential care for siblings. Until June 2009, a sibling group of 2-3 or more children sheltered due to abuse, neglect or abandonment were often separated and sent to different foster families or group homes depending on availability, the child’s age, or special needs of the child. Studies that evaluate the outcome of separating siblings have determined that it is more detrimental to split siblings than it is to separate them from their parents. We knew it was time to do things differently.
WHO: A Kid’s Place of Tampa Bay focuses on ensuring access to high-quality residential care for sibling groups entering foster care while continuing to provide for our most vulnerable children throughout the Tampa Bay area.
WHAT: A Kid’s Place was developed and built from what started as a group discussion in the community involving a group of concerned individuals, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office , the Department of Children and Families, Hillsborough Kids, Inc., the YMCA, the Child Abuse Council, the Hillsborough County School District, Hillsborough County Children’s Services, the Children’s Board and other community leaders. The mission of A Kid’s Place is to provide a safe, loving and nurturing home to foster children.
WHEN: We are open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
HOW: Our children often come to us with only a garbage bag of belongings, sometimes less. While living with us at A Kid’s Place we give each child a safe, loving and nurturing experience. They are clothed with new and gently used items, fed healthy meals, and provided a warm, clean bed. Toys and books that have been generously donated to us provide hours of entertainment and joy to these children as they settle into their new surroundings. We rely heavily on monetary donations as well as food, clothing and entertainment items. Our volunteers and donors provide generously for our children, helping to enhance their lives while living at A Kid’s Place.
DID YOU KNOW? We are a big family; every week we consume 50 gallons of milk, 200 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and run 210 loads of laundry.
– Mindy Sariano, Account Management