Foster Friday2022-09-20T14:56:21-04:00


Foster parents are everyday heroes whose love truly changes lives for good. Please visit this page often to see weekly highlights of some of the many incredible foster parents who are making a difference for Hillsborough County youth every day.

Introducing Melendez Family

Kathryn and Gilbert Melendez are the epitome of perfect foster parents. Not only do they open their doors to teenage girls, but they also offer stability and an incredible home environment for them. We have seen so many changes in the behavior of the teens who enter the Melendez home, and the girls have nothing but good things to say about them and the amazing support that they provide. Thank you, Kathryn and Gilbert, for all that you do!

Introducing Pamela McFadden

Pamela McFadden consistently steps up to help whenever it’s needed. Recently, we asked her to take in a child from another home while we worked to resolve a situation, and she immediately said yes. She has gone above and beyond for this child, meeting the child’s needs, and making sure the other foster parent could still spend time with the child. Even when that situation exceeded the estimated time, Ms. McFadden did not hesitate to keep the child without any complaints. Ms. McFadden treats all the children she takes in as her own and provides such a warm and loving home for however long a child is in her care.

 She is always willing to work in partnership with West Florida Foster Care Services and is an asset to our agency and the foster care system. It is our pleasure to recognize Ms. McFadden as an extraordinary foster parent.

The Benson Family

Introducing the Benson Family

The Benson family said “YES” to a six-month old baby boy with potential medical challenges after being on hold for a handful of years. One phrase that describes this foster family is strong advocates! It is no wonder why they had to be on hold for so long because when they say “yes,” they are all in!

This family will do whatever it takes to make sure children and their biological families have what they need to thrive. Their current placement has a lot of medical appointments, but the Bensons make sure he is seen by the best specialists even if that means missing work and driving long distances. They provide all the medical, developmental, nurture, and love a child could need. The Benson family is pouring their whole heart and much of their time into the case to fight for the best interest of the child.

Atchinson Family

Introducing the Atchison Family

The Atchison foster home is loving, compassionate, and full of adventure! The family has had placement of a two-year-old boy since he was five days old. Since placement, Lauren and Andrew have co-parented excellently and loved unconditionally. The Atchison family has four children of their own, who have become partners in the foster care ministry and they love their foster brother like their own sibling. On top of providing a permanent placement for over two years, the Atchisons keep saying “yes” to respite and short-term needs. Just this week, their daughters shared their room with a seven-year-old girl and began telling her when she was scared that “their God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing their God cannot do.” The Atchison family has a huge heart to provide children with a safe and loving home if it is just for a night or even two years.

Introducing the Konz Family

The Konz foster home is amazing, encouraging, and mighty in their voice. The Konz family has only been licensed a year and has had three placements, ones that were/are not easy. The Konz family excels in caring and giving their all to the kids in their care. The Konz family has three biological kids who absolutely love fostering. Mrs. Konz was a speech therapist and has helped her in being a foster parent. The Konz family fight for their kiddos, both biological and foster, and advocate for them.

Cagle Family

Introducing Sharri and Bill Cagle

The Cagle foster home is loving, caring, and determined. The Cagle family has a sibling group of 4. When they first took this placement, there were just three siblings. About a year later, the family got a call there was a fourth baby boy born and if they would consider placement. The family was already moving towards adoption with the three other siblings, and they accepted the fourth baby, and now the family is in the process of adopting all four siblings together. These kids have had a lot of medical appointments, schooling appointments, and behaviors. The Cagle family loves these kids with everything in them. The Cagle family on top of having these four kiddos, still help out with respite and short terms. They have a huge heart to serve children in crisis and providing them a safe and loving home even if just for a night.

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