By: Geo A. Ropert, APR

Brevard Family Partnership will host the 8th annual Walk for Love along with its 2nd annual Run For Love 5K to raise awareness of the many children in Brevard who are available for adoption. Both events will commence and end at the Church at Viera.

There is no cost to participate in the Walk for Love, however registration is required. Includes commemorative t-shirt and lunch, family entertainment, and door prizes. Donations to support programs for Brevard’s adoptive families are welcomed.

Run For Love 5K fees: $25 for adults; $22 for students 13-17 years; and $20 for children 12 and younger. Includes race shirt, pre and post-race snacks, goodie bag and awards for top three finishers in each age category.

Everyone in Brevard is welcome to attend, including your four-legged friends. The Walk for Love is a “pet-friendly” event.

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013

Check-in begins at 7 a.m. for the Run for Love 5K and 8 a.m. for the Walk for Love
5K Run begins at 7 a.m., the Walk begins at 9 a.m.

The Church at Viera
9005 North Wickham Road, Viera

For more information, visit or call (321) 752-4650.

600. Why that number for an article title?

By all rights, 600 holds little significance — it’s not known as a “lucky number” and no one gives “600 percent” to their work or goals. No, 600 doesn’t mean much; unless you’re one of 600 children, teens or now young adults who were adopted out of Brevard County’s foster care system and are now part of a “forever family.”

In June of this year, Brevard’s child welfare system, led by Brevard Family Partnership, along with its adoption partner agency IMPOWER (formerly Intervention Services, Inc.), found a home for its 600th child whose parents, due to an inability to safely care for them, surrendered their parental rights. The circumstances surrounding children’s permanent removal from their parents or legal guardians include severe abuse, neglect or abandonment; traumas that can challenge a child’s view of the world and leave lasting impressions. BFP’s and IMPOWER’s goal is to find that child a family who will take them into theirs and call him or her their own, forever.

So who are these adoptive families? Just look around. They are your relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers; everyday people doing extraordinary things for someone who shortly before they met might never have thought of calling one place home again.

“We have a passion for finding Brevard families who have the capacity and compassion to welcome a child into their home,” said IMPOWER chief operating officer, Lisa Summers-Peyton. “Our staff, many of them lifelong residents of the Space Coast and some adoptive parents themselves, are committed to finding the right fit for every child that becomes available for adoption. And we continue to support our families, post-adoption, so that the transitional and ongoing needs of the family are met.”

IMPower strives to match a child or teen with parents and families that can adequately care for and provide the daily support, care and love needed for that youth to thrive and succeed. The agencies partner to host several “matching” events throughout the year, providing an opportunity for prospective adoptive families to meet children available for adoption and begin to get to know one another. These events usually take place in a casual atmosphere such as a local attraction, recreation venue or park. If it appears there is a connection between the youth and family, other opportunities are arranged and more time is spent together. Eventually, the child and family grow close enough that they are confident that permanency is the next step. From there, a formal judicial process culminates in a “Celebration of Adoption” where a judge declares them a “forever family.”

Though it is always the goal of BFP and its community partners to keep families together, safe and stable in their homes and communities, when that is not possible it’s good to know that Brevard has a local system of care that will see to it that children are in a place where they are safe and free from abuse and neglect. Today, over 600 Brevard youth and young adults have bright futures thanks to our adoptive families!