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Community members, hospital staff, area organizations gather to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month

More than 100 Florida Hospital employees, foster parents and community leaders gathered on the lawn at Florida Hospital for Children to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month, marking the occasion by planting pinwheels to represent the number of foster homes immediately needed in our community. Florida Hospital for Children and Community Based Care of Central Florida will host workshops and a social media campaign throughout the month to encourage more families to consider fostering and adoption.

“There will always, unfortunately, be some level of abuse and neglect [in our community], so we need to make sure the community is aware of that and what the needs of these children are,” said Gerry Glynn, Chief Legal Officer for Community Based Care of Central Florida, a non-profit organization that manages foster care in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.

Florida Hospital for Children’s workshops about how to get involved in foster care will take place at hospital campuses throughout the region and at Florida Hospital Church. Details are available at

“We see more children as a network than most health care systems in this state, so we want to step in front of this issue and say, ‘Let’s get involved,’” said Marla Silliman, Senior Executive Officer of Florida Hospital for Children.

Among speakers at the campaign kickoff was Rick Blount, who has – along with his wife – fostered more than 100 children. He has also adopted 11, and is an active mentor for couples and families considering fostering and adoption.

“We are so honored to have these children in our lives,” said Blount. “It’s been a blessed journey. We want to get all of these kids on a path that ensures them a solid future.”

Organizations participating in the Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign in Central Florida include Florida Hospital for Children, Community Based Care of Central Florida, Devereux, One Hope United, Florida Hospital Church, Adventist University of Health Sciences, and Children’s Home Society of Florida.

For media inquiries, contact Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at 407-303-8217.