Children’s Needs and/or Normalcy Request Program

The state provides for the daily needs of children in the dependency system. However, children in the child welfare system deserve to be treated like any other child and should also be able to participate in normal, age-appropriate activities.

Friends of Children of Brevard is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises funds to provide for the unmet needs of abused, neglected or abandoned children in Brevard County. Friends of Children of Brevard has been helping these children achieve normalcy since 1985 and relies on donations and fundraisers to make this happen. All money donated and raised goes directly to children in Brevard County and to help support the Guardian ad Litem program.

Urgent requests, needs requests and normalcy requests are normally reviewed within 24 business hours. The Friends of Children’s Needs Committee will review all requests for appropriateness, need, and available budget.

Your Case Manager should be consulted before making a request. Case Managers may be able to get funding from Family Allies or Brevard Family Partnership for your child’s needs. Case Managers may need to check with other local sources and service providers before asking Family Allies or BFP for help. Your Child Advocacy Manager from the Guardian ad Litem Program serves as the final approval an all requests-and should be consulted before making a request, since they are aware of other local sources to which the caregiver can be referred.


Guidelines:

Requests may be made when financial hardship is created for the caregiver in providing for the child’s need. All requests should support a child’s needs or provide for a normalcy experience. These funds are not for family needs such as car repairs, utilities, medical/psychological testing of parents, bus passes for family, childcare, or other items. Friends of Children’s mission limits our support to children in the Guardian ad Litem program in Brevard Counties. Please do not submit the request for children living in the home that are not in the Guardian ad Litem program. Caregiver families should have applied for caregiver funding. (Note: both relative and non-relative caregivers are eligible for caregiver funding.) Requests should be for children in unlicensed care. Your CAM will know if an exception applies. 

Our preferred method of funding requests is to purchase the item and have item shipped directly to the child’s address or have it available for pick up at closest store. We have accounts at Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon and other retail companies. If your request is for a registration or payment, Friends of Children can make a payment directly to the organization either by check or online payment.  Please include links for online ordering or payment information in your request. For requests that cannot be ordered online, a check will be mailed to the Guardian ad Litem listed on the form. Checks are not sent to caregivers. You will be responsible for the money being spent in the appropriate manner and will be required to submit receipts and a reporting form within 30 days of funding. Funds may only be used for the purpose intended and unused funds must be returned within 30 days of funding. All items provided to your children by Friends of Children of Brevard are the propriety of the child and these items should move with the children if they change placements.
 

What you can request:

Friends funds clothing, beds, bikes, computers, diapers, school supplies, luggage, holiday gifts, duffle bags and other items not provided by government agencies. Friends and the GAL Program often make available nearly new clothing, books and toys for GAL pick up on a first come first served basis. Check the office closet. What Friends does not typically fund: gaming platforms, computer games, cell phones, on-going expenses such as monthly cell phone bills, electric bills, rent.

  • Urgent Request:  We understand that many of these children have very few of their own personal possessions and many leave with just the clothing on their backs.  No child should be without their basic needs such as clothing and shoes.
  • Normalcy and Guardian Bonding: Funds may be requested for bonding activities with your child. Please consider submitting normalcy requests that are non-recurring. For example, football for a semester at school, spring break camp, soccer program for 8 weeks. We cannot ensure that funding will be available for monthly fees that are recurring for activities like dance, etc.
  • Beds: Foster families are required to have beds for all children in their care. We will support requests for non-relative caregivers, relative caregivers, and children aging out of the system. Our preferred bedding provider is Walmart due to low costs and the ability to ship directly to the family or pick up at closest store. 
  • Driver’s Ed, Licenses, Insurance: House Bill 977 created a three-year pilot program at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to pay the cost of driver education, licensure, and motor vehicle insurance for young adults in foster care so they can have the same opportunity as children who are not in foster care. The Keys to Independence website includes an application form and all other details. Please contact your Case Manager or Child Advocacy Manager for assistance with these requests.
  • Bus Passes: These will be considered on a case-by-case basis for teens that have educational needs or need a means to get to and from work. Bus Passes cannot be provided for parents/caregivers.
  • Recurring Costs: Typically, Friends of Children does not support recurring costs. If your request includes a recurring cost, please contact us before submitting the form.
  • Phones: Although we understand phones are a normalcy need for our teens, we do not provide funds for phones or phone cards at this time. Many of our youth use old phones or ipod touches that are Wi-Fi capable and apps such as messenger and others can at least be utilized when they are in a location with Wi-Fi access. If there is a need that you believe should be considered, please contact us before submitting the form for prior approval.
  • Computer Games: Friends of Children does not typically fund: gaming platforms or computer games.
  • Birthdays/Holidays:  Requests can be submitted for celebratory or bonding purposes. The Friends of Children’s Needs Committee will review all requests for appropriateness, need, and available budget. Friends of Children hosts a holiday gift drive yearly fulfilling children’s wish lists. Look for the signup sheet for holiday gifts in October.

By applying & receiving funding, you agree to the following:

I understand by accepting Friends’ funds, I am responsible to provide Friends with receipts for the merchandise purchased and to return any excess funds.

Original receipts should be mailed to:
Friends of Children of Brevard
Guardian ad Litem Office
Moore Justice Center
2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Viera, FL 32940

Or receipts may also be hand-delivered to the GAL office where there is a folder in the hallway for these Funding Requests Receipts. Your cooperation in submitting these original receipts within 10 days of purchase is appreciated, but must be submitted within 30 days.

Please add a link to the registration website in the Additional Comment Section of the online submission form; or if it is a hard copy, you may upload a copy of the form to the submission (there is a section in the form for you to upload forms). Don’t have a scanner? Just take a picture and upload it or email it to Requests@FriendsofChildrenofBrevard.org (and make sure you include your contact information AND the child’s information in the email.)

Apply Now

About the Guardian ad Litem Program

Thousands of abused, abandoned and neglected children become the subject of judicial proceedings each year in Florida. Their voices are often unheard and best interests overlooked in the complicated and overburdened adversary process. Guardians ad Litem (GAL) are citizens who volunteer to become part of a court program to represent the best interests of an assigned child. The volunteer Guardian ad Litem is a representative for the child before the court, social service agencies and the community. He/she also protects the child during the family crisis, court proceedings, and follows the child’ progress.

About Friends of Children of Brevard

Friends of Children funds clothing, beds, bikes, computers, diapers, school supplies, luggage, holiday gifts, duffle bags and other items not provided by government agencies. We also provide these children with some basic opportunities and access to normal childhood activities.

 

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