In the 1980's, family court judge Estella Moriarty would witness foster children coming through her courtroom repeatedly; the children never finding a place to call home or the support they would need to overcome their histories of abuse, neglect and abandonment. She found the solution in SOS Children's Villages, an international organization opening Villages throughout the world to provide home and assistance to orphans. With the support of community and friends, Estella helped build SOS Children's Villages - Florida, the first Village in the United States.
Since opening our doors in 1993, SOS Florida has helped raise more than 500 foster children. While at the Village, each child discovers the cornerstones of SOS: house staff who nurture and care for them, biological and foster brothers and sisters who are family, a safe and secure home and a village of friends and neighbors who provide support.
Donations of time, services, and dollars from the community ensure that SOS can provide these children with more than just a bed to sleep in, food on the table and someone to care for them.
Thanks to community support, each of our boys and girls receives onsite therapy to help them overcome past traumas and issues, tutoring to help them catch up and excel in school and life skills to teach them to become responsible and productive adults. Contributions also help ensure that our kids can be kids: enjoying summer camp, city athletic programs, extracurricular activities, class field trips, art/music lessons, family vacations and the little joys of childhood like a visit from the tooth fairy, learning to ride their bike and getting family pictures taken.
Our Village is also the first foster care provider in South Florida to provide an After Care program for our children who age out of foster care when they turn 18 and legally become an adult. Our young adults are still a part of our family even when they move away and have families of their own. The SOS After Care program helps them start planning their future when they turn 17 and provides them with advice, support, and encouragement as they find their way in life. The program also provides services such as help finding jobs or a place to live, staying in school, starting businesses and even parenting classes and affordable childcare.