Better Families

Better Families:
Preventing the need of foster care

Better Families is aimed at preventing neglect and abuse before foster care is necessary. Our unique model enables parents who have fallen on hard times to voluntarily place their children with a loving host family for up to a year. The average stay is only 45 days, and 90% of families are reunited in 90 days or less. As unpaid volunteers, host families focus on caring for the children, while a network of Better Together volunteers and partners help the parents get back on their feet. By design, 100% of the families are reunified, and we’re pleased to report that 98% of them stay together and out of the foster care system.

Our Core Values

Christlike Hospitality
Lifesaving Grace
Empowering Parents

Our 3 Objectives

Prevent abuse and neglect by providing a non-threatening safety net for families with children.

Lifting people up and wrapping a caring, compassionate community around them to make a lifechanging difference.

Empowering parents to help themselves, addressing the root causes that led to their crisis, and keeping families together.

The Overwhelming Problem Of Child Neglect

On any given day in Florida, 21,000 children are in foster care. As if that statistic isn’t staggering enough, millions of calls to the abuse hotline go unanswered because the system is overwhelmed.

Furthermore, more than half of the children who end up in foster care are there because of neglect, not sexual or physical abuse. Their parents simply could not make ends meet. Whether due to job loss, serious illness, disability or substance abuse, they became unable to provide a stable home, adequate food and safe child care. Sadly, more serious abuse can occur when, out of desperation, they turn to a neighbor, relative or partner for help.

Overwhelmed by job, food and housing insecurity, these parents cannot focus on their children, and the consequences are dire. Parental neglect can affect everything from the child’s academic success to self-esteem and the ability to form healthy relationships.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case – child neglect is preventable!

Catching Families Before They Fall

Better Family’s proactive approach builds effective, lasting support systems for families. These relationships help them cope with their hardships, and, most importantly, prevent abuse, neglect and separation.

While foster care is set up to pull a drowning family out of the river just before they go over the waterfall, we offer a safety net further upriver. All parents have to do is grab on. In fact, sometimes we can help families before they fall into dangerous waters.

In other words, by partnering with Better Together, parents can halt the slide into more serious issues, including abuse, court involvement and custody loss. We give parents the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and stabilize their families—whether that means helping them work through challenges, connecting them to employers or providing a loving home to shelter their children while they focus full-time on achieving their goals.

A sustainable Model With Proven Results

Better Together has served more than 7,000 children since 2015. The greatest outcome is knowing we have helped to create better families, and our sincere hope is that we have laid the foundation for generations of successful families to come. Also, we can proudly add that we have saved taxpayers millions of dollars by preventing thousands of children from being placed in foster care.

Man holding his child

How Families Get Help

Could you or someone you care about use a hand up? If Better Families could benefit you, we strongly welcome and encourage you to reach out and learn more!

Ways To Give

Better Families’ success depends upon generous donors and an army of volunteers. There are many ways to help, and we’re happy to personally connect you with the opportunity that is right for you!

We are Participating in Give4Marion, and Need Your Support!

Join us for a 33-hour campaign dedicated to raising money and awareness for nonprofit organizations doing good in Marion County. Fundraising kicks off today and ends at 7 p.m. tomorrow.