FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Foster children and those in low-income situations will receive a helping hand before the start of school next month. Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced a $450 check to eligible parents and caretakers of school-age children. The checks will be given per kid.

Children in Crisis in Fort Walton Beach said they have 20 kids in their system, estimating $9,000 in funding. The center has told foster parents about the funding news.

“It was a surprise and a pleasant surprise at that,” said Ken Hair, President, CEO of Children in Crisis. “We always look for ways to bridge the gaps, especially when they go back to school. Clothing and shoes are our most needed priority, and of course, supplies help as well.”

CIC said they will spend the money on a child basis getting things that are desperately needed.

“I was just talking to my foster parents today and we are going to use it like Mr Ken said mostly for back-to-school clothes,” said Sarah Traver, operations director. “Shoes are always a need. These kids grow through shoes like crazy they are growing so fast while they’re here. So those two are our priorities with the checks.”

In total, the state is spending $35.5 million on these checks for 59,000 families. The Gov. said this money is coming from a surplus in the state budget and are not cut stimulus checks.

“It’s more about the thought than the money,” said Hair. “We do need the money and we need funding to do things, but to know that the governor and his staff are supporting the children in crisis and children that live here, it’s just amazing. We really appreciate it.”

According to DCF, eligible recipients include:

  • Foster Parents
  • Relative Caregivers
  • Non-relative Caregivers
  • Families receiving TANF cash assistance
  • Guardianship Assistance Program participants

More about CIC:

The Children in Crisis center is a neighborhood-based foster care establishment in Fort Walton Beach. CIC said they are in need of foster parents for multiple homes on the complex.

“We are looking for foster parents to come live on our beautiful campus,” said Tavern.”We have a couple of houses open right now that we need foster parents to come and move into. Then they get lots of benefits from working here. They get to live in our beautiful homes for free with free utilities. They get a stipend from us to stay in the homes. And they have a huge wrap-around service program here that helps them out with the kids on a daily basis.”

For more information, call CIC at 850-864-4242 or visit them online.

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