Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

A Kid's Place couple goes from house parents to parents

BRANDON — When Daniel and Cindy Clare began volunteering at A Kid's Place, their intentions were clear.

They wanted to connect with their community and help what they believed were the most vulnerable of society.

From the moment they walked onto the grounds of the 60-bed facility for abused, neglected, or abandoned children, their passion was apparent.

"We hadn't necessarily been exposed to any residential care facilities prior to that day," Daniel Clare said. "But honestly, the moment you walk on site here and you see the facilities and you see the level of care, it just took us."

Within a month of their first tour of the campus, the Clares signed on to become house parents, which meant they would live with, and supervise the 12 children that live in one of five houses on campus at A Kid's Place.

"The goal is to try to make as calm of an environment as possible so in trying to do that we're trying to create as familiar of an environment as possible," Daniel Clare said. "So the house parent model is trying to accomplish that by having two staff members that function as both mother and father in a home basically around the clock."

The couple never imagined that in less than a year after beginning to work at A Kid's Place, they would begin the process of opening their home and their hearts to three of the children they had cared for as house parents.

But Daniel Clare felt that the "crash course" in parenting was invaluable.

"There wasn't necessarily this immediate connection or anything like that," Daniel Clare said. "My wife and I didn't come here looking to adopt and we weren't necessarily looking to have kids at the time but it was just that natural development over time."

For their second time at A Kid's Place, the sibling group of three — only 2-, 3- and 5-years-old — went through the usual proceedings of getting acclimated and reacquainted with the environment after transitioning from a traumatic situation with their biological mother. But soon after a special bond began to develop between the kids and the Clares.

Judge Tracy Sheehan, a founding member of A Kid's Place board of directors, believed the Clares and their children were meant to be together.

"They always bonded with the children in their care and comfortably assumed their roles as loving house parents," Sheehan said. "But it was clear they had a special bond with the three children they ultimately adopted, an almost magnetic connection."

Many people who worked with the Clares during their time as house parents and their adoption process agree that the couple had important and unique skills to help their children through their time at A Kid's Place.

Daniel and Cindy Clare are no strangers to coping with trauma from a personal perspective. Both had personal experience with displacement in their youth. Between Cindy's adoption and Daniel's time in a runaway shelter and relative placement, they hope their background will help them in guiding their children through their post traumatic stress syndrome.

Diane O'Malley, who served as the children's Guardian ad Litem during their time at A Kid's Place, witnessed the progression of the Clare family and admires the perspective the Clare's are able to use to relate to their children.

"They understand and connect to children who have come through trauma, in a way so many could never begin to understand," O'Malley said. "They have a patience foreign to many people, that has guided them as they have brought their children through some rough times."

While they no longer work as house parents in order to dedicate their time to bonding with their children, Daniel still works as a youth counselor and support staff at A Kid's Place.

"Our plates are pretty full, because we are now both full-time students getting our degrees in social work," Clare said. "But we are so happy with how things turned out and those three children are our children."

Contact Kelsey Sunderland at [email protected]

Comments
Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

PLANT CITY — A man died Saturday night after he was stabbed inside his home by a neighbor, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Moses Wilson, 49, got into an argument with James Michael Meeks, 23, both of whom live at 4308 James L. R...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

WASHINGTON — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and j...
Updated: 1 hour ago
3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Severe thunderstorms spawned suspected tornadoes and triggered widespread flooding that left at least three people dead in Kentucky and Arkansas. The system that stretched from Texas to the Canadian maritime provinces on Sunday ha...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Published: 02/24/18

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Published: 02/24/18

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Published: 02/24/18
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Published: 02/24/18