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Jitzely Rodriguez

Professor Wright
ENC 3331
Promoting Volunteerism To Benefit Foster Children
There are about 14,000 children in foster care in the state of Florida.1 Most
people who hear this will let the thought sit in their minds for a minute or two and
then state, oh, thats sad and move on with their day. If you have thought about
this issue for more then two minutes have you ever asked yourself why the child is
in foster care in the first place? I feel most young adults are quick to assume that the
child was too much of a burden for the parents so they were quick to give them up
for adoption. Yes this does occur but on the other hand many foster children are
dealing with physically abusive or unfit families dealing with alcoholism, drugs,
depression, and even contemplations of suicide.
When problems such as these arise, the Department of Family and Children
of Florida will place the child/children in foster care and they will have to wait
around for their uncertain future. Many foster children will even float between
biological parents and a foster home on more then one occasion until their
guardians are stable or until it reaches that last straw. Many will be thrown in foster
care families that are not prepared to handle the childs specific needs. Due to the
many expenses foster parents already have to balance, the child and/or children will
no longer be able to engage in the small enjoyments of life (that we are fortunate
enough to experience). Foster children and babies will not receive enough humanto-human interaction and attention needed for a growing child and they will lose 2-

3 months in school every time they change specific foster homes. These children
will face all of these challenges and many more challenges which will be expanded
on through out the evolution of this project.
The civic issue of children in foster care is probably not anything new to the
average civilian. What I aim to do is further aware the young adults in our
community at the University of Central Florida on the issue and also educate them
on the ways they could help children in foster care who are dealing with these
hardships. In addition, I challenge my audience to act on this awareness and take
part in a donations drive I plan to organize by the end of this project.
As I expand on this civic issue I will be taking a deeper look into the lives of
foster children as I research more about their daily challenges. I hope to have a
willing young adult that has experienced the hardships of foster care (18+ and
preferably a UCF student) engage in an interview with myself to help shed light on
his/her experiences in foster care. I also plan to discuss what he/she personally
believes can be done by the general community to help out. I feel that this interview
will provide a necessary addition of pathos to my project and will help the audience
feel more connected to the issue at hand.
A non-profit organization named Childrens Home Society of Florida provides
assistance to these children by providing family counseling in attempts to break
abusive cycles, childrens counseling for those still coping with traumatic events,
and foster homes that are the best fit for the children. I plan to further research the
impact a non profit organization such as this makes on the lives of foster children
and what goals require the help of community volunteers. Upon speaking with one

of the directors very briefly I was told they are always in need of specific donations
that the community is sometimes unaware of. I will be doing more research in this
area to see the best ways the community can help out. Being an active volunteer
myself, I know that mentoring is an effective way to connect with children and
young adults. I will also be looking into different mentoring programs around the
UCF area, researching how effective these programs are, and discovering the
opinions of foster children in regards to volunteer mentors. The primary sources I
would use for my research are interviews with the directors of the Childrens home
Society of Florida and also foster children who benefit from this organization (18+).
To create the awareness in our community I plan to create a donations drive.
I hope to partner up with the Childrens Home Society of Florida. After my research
is fulfilled I will advertise the items most needed by this non-profit organization. I
will create a Facebook page and various social media to stir up awareness on the
issue and how the community can help by the donation of items. I will do research
as to when the best time to do this donation drive will be. I hope to involve and
rhetorically identify with organizations dedicated to serving others such as various
health clubs, sororities and fraternities, students involved with social work and
familial psychology etc. To raise awareness in these communities I would create
sample work (flyers, brochures) and pass them out to effectively get the information
across. I will also print out pamphlets on specific mentoring programs that the
community can get involved with and I will hand these out at the donations drive as

A lot of people may take a cynical approach to personal involvement and

think that there is nothing we can do to make a difference without adjusting specific
laws that address foster care issues but I do not believe this to be true. My goal is to
show the young adults at the University of Central Florida that there is something
they can do about this civic issue. No matter how small the donations or time
volunteered you could be making the biggest difference in the life of a foster child.

Works Cited

1 "Florida

Foster Care and Adoption Guidelines." Florida Foster Care and Adoption

AdoptUSKids. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.