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TALLAHASSEE (AP) — Child welfare officials say they’re recruiting more foster families than ever before.

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The Department of Children and Families said recently that they have licensed nearly 1,400 foster homes. That’s up from 211 last year and brings the total to 4,845.

DCF contracts with private foster care organizations around the state that help recruit and train foster parents and match them with roughly 10,000 foster children statewide.

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Devereux Community Based Care of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast had one of the lowest numbers of foster homes in the state.

The organization then launched a new campaign to recruit foster parents, asking current foster parents to write letters to editors at local newspapers.

Officials said that led to a 45 percent increase in the number of homes licensed during the past year.

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