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Helping the Whole Family:
Keeping Kids and Parents Together

“We can’t help kids until we help parents. It’s that simple,” says CEO Megan Rose, who spent 10 years working in the foster care system prior to taking the lead at Better Together.

Better Together’s Better Families program prevents neglect and abuse by developing caring relationships with at-risk parents and children. First, we enable parents to voluntarily take a temporary break from parenting so they can focus on solutions for their family. Knowing Better Together’s commitment to caring for their children and reuniting them when the time is right, they can overcome hardships before resuming the incredible responsibility of raising a family.

Most importantly, parents maintain full legal custody of their children. That is the Better Together promise.

Call Our 24/7 Hotline: (239) 470-2733

Better Together Promise

We will not judge you.

We will never take custody of your children or do anything without your consent.

We will cheer for your success like you are family.

We will not help you once and then disappear.

We will help you regain independence in every way we can.

We will remind you that everyone has God-given potential in this world.

We will always look for solutions that keep your family together.

A Step-by-Step Guide to How Better Families Works

Step 1: Understanding the Need

Better Together’s professional staff meets the parent(s) to understand their story, needs and objectives. We specialize in early intervention, helping families before they are involved with the courts and state foster care. If the family is a good match for Better Together, the process moves forward. Otherwise, the staff connects the parents with organizations that can better meet their needs.

Step 2: Finding a Host Family

If the parents wish to voluntarily place their children with a host family, they’ll be matched and assigned to a Family Care Advocate. This liaison between the birth parents and host family is supported by the Better Together professional staff. Together with their Family Care Advocate, the birth parents and host parents agree on temporary living arrangements. There’s an estimated length of stay for the kids, but everyone understands that circumstances may change. Often, parents need less time then they think to address their challenges. Parents may arrange with host families to see their children regularly if they wish to do so.

It’s important to note: Host families do not receive stipends from Better Together or from the government for caregiving. They may receive diapers, supplies and grocery assistance from faith organizations and private donors, but these families are motivated solely from the heart.

Step 3: Family Mentorship

Parents in distress generally were raised by other parents in distress. Recognizing the generational cycles of poverty and abuse, another subset of volunteers – Family Mentors – are ready to lend a hand, an ear and a friendly voice to steer those who feel isolated and overwhelmed. The relationships are strictly voluntary and more akin to friendships than the formal case management the state provides when children are in foster care. Though casual in nature, these partnerships have targeted aims:

1. To help parents-in-need fill whatever gaps are preventing them from achieving self-sufficiency.

2. To provide stability for their children.

Parents may request a Family Mentor, whether or not their children are with a Host Family.

Step 4: Parents Bring Their Children Home

Unlike foster care, where courts determine family reunification, parents drive the decisions throughout their involvement with Better Together. That includes choosing the right time to bring their children home.

Referring A Family

Currently, Better Families serves children primarily on the west coast of Florida, from Hillsborough County south to Collier County. However, it is poised to expand statewide and has the ability to help anywhere in the state of Florida. If you know a family who needs assistance, we strongly welcome and encourage you to reach out so we can start working on solutions for them right away. Their legal custody is never in jeopardy. In fact, they must be willing and able to accept the hand up we offer.

Applying For Help

Every child deserves the chance at a better life, and we believe every parent can give this gift. Many just need support while they improve their situation. After all, it can be hard to bounce back from life’s challenges when you are struggling physically, mentally or financially, and care for children at the same time. If you’re committed to improving your life and willing to accept a hand up, contact us to see if Better Families is the right solution for you and your children.

Apply for help below or call our 24/7 hotline: (239) 470-2733

Have You Tried Better Jobs?

If you are struggling to raise your family because of job loss or underemployment, you are not alone. Better Jobs can help by connecting you with volunteers who are trained to provide job coaching and willing to do whatever it takes to help you connect with employers in your area.

Cammara OvertonBetter Together Team

Cammara Overton
Collier County Family Care Coordniator

Cammara worked in the international nonprofit sector and served as a missionary overseas for 10 years before joining Better Together as the Collier County Family Care Coordinator. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has a heart for building relationships and serving women, children and their families and sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ with everyone she meets. Cammara is passionate about coming alongside those seeking life change and helping them achieve all that they desire to do for themselves and their families. Cammara is very excited to be a part of the Better Together family by providing recourses and extending love and compassion to families in crisis.

Cammara and her husband, Dan, enjoy spending time playing volleyball and hanging out with friends and their Italian pup, Harley. They both have a passion for serving the Lord and being the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.

Jennifer MoffittBetter Together Team

Jennifer Moffitt
Tampa Bay Region Home Study Specialist

Originally from Massachusetts, Jenn moved to Florida in 1993 to be closer to her parents, who had left the snow behind the year before. In 1996, she graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Jenn started her career working in private adoptions as a birth parent worker. After two years she was drawn to child welfare. For the next 19 years, she worked as a child protection investigator for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. In 2019 she began working for the Office of the State Attorney, 6th Judicial Circuit, as a child abuse specialist. She assisted prosecutors with interviewing child victims of abuse and neglect and served as a liaison with the Department of Children and Families and their local community providers.

Jenn and her husband, Shawn, were married on Christmas Day in 1999, and they have two boys, ages 12 and 20. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, taking day trips, visiting the beach, and vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina.

Katie MalloyBetter Together Team

Katie Malloy
Northeast Region Home Study Specialist

Katie was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and attended the University of Mississippi, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Katie has been working with children and families in the foster care system in Duval County since 2015. Her passion is advocating for children in care and helping build strong and healthy families. During Katie’s childhood, her church community was a great support system for her and her family. She’s a firm believer that the more people who love a child, the better.

Ruth DavidsonBetter Together Team

Ruth Davidson
Southwest Florida Church Engagement Director

Ruth has a passion for serving others. She believes strongly in giving back to the community and paying it forward. She loves to share her personal story of how, with God’s help, she was able to overcome past hurdles. Growing up in rural Kentucky in a large family that faced many struggles, she knows firsthand how God’s love can heal and restore broken families. She has the gift of hospitality and enjoys communicating with others with the hope that she is never meeting strangers, only making friends.

Ruth comes to Better Together with over eight years of ministry experience. After moving to Fort Myers from Fort Lauderdale in 2016, she served as an outreach coordinator for a nonprofit faith-based recovery program for more than five years. She was also an administrative assistant to her directors, scheduling events and successfully developing and establishing relationships with several businesses and churches in Southwest Florida. She has a relaxed way of making others feel comfortable, possessing a servant’s heart and loves outreach and missions.

Ruth currently resides in Naples and enjoys traveling, dining out, cooking, entertaining and serving in her community. She has two grown children, Martin and Annie, and one grandson, Drew, who loves to visit with his Nana.

Amanda ColafrancescoBetter Together Team

Amanda Colafrancesco
Sarasota/Manatee Home Study Specialist

Amanda was born and raised in Rhode Island and moved to Florida in 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in administration of justice from Salve Regina University. Upon graduation, she began a career in child welfare, specifically toward a goal of preventing children from entering the foster care system. Amanda brings diverse experiences in serving children and families in their home environments to her work with Better Together as a home study specialist. She is also a certified child welfare protective investigator through the Florida Certification Board and has over six years of child welfare experience. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys visiting with family and friends.

Yohana RestoBetter Together Team

Yohana Resto
Southwest Florida Executive Director

Yohana brings to Better Together 15 years of experience working in child welfare. She has served in various roles, including case manager, clinical services specialist, relative search specialist, foster family recruiter, and most recently a role conducting comprehensive assessments for children in foster care or relative care. Yohana has a heart and passion for serving children and families, and she brings to the organization a wide breadth of knowledge and experience. A graduate of Southeastern University and Nova Southeastern University with a bachelor’s in psychology and Master of Science in counseling, Yohana has a caring and compassionate heart to support families in need.

Yohana loves spending time with her husband, Miguel, and their four children—Isabela, Natalia, Jaxon and Jayden. You can frequently find them at a soccer game, as their girls enjoy playing competitive travel soccer. Yohana credits her relationship with God and personal salvation as the motivating force behind her desire to continue to serve her community.

Dawson JordonBetter Together Team

Dawson Jordan
Creative Director

Dawson is an exciting addition to the Better Together Team. Since graduating college in 2015 from Florida Gulf Coast University with his bachelor’s degree in Business Management he has managed to create a successful career for himself as a self-employed freelance videographer/photographer. He has recently relocated back to his hometown in SWFL and is excited to join the team as the Creative Director to help us tell the Better Together story. Dawson is passionate about telling stories through a creative lens, especially when it comes to seeing families stay together and for individuals to thrive and become the best version of themselves. When Dawson is not in the office he likes to hang out with his friends, workout, and watch sports.