The latest news about Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association:

Live Blog from FSFAPA Conference!

Posted June 16, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

We’re trying something new here: live coverage of the conference on Twitter and!  If you want to join the conversation, join us on Twitter, to just follow the updates, you can see them here!

Notes for those headed to Orlando Conference

Posted June 12, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Thank you for registering for the 2017 Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association Educational Conference.

We are so excited to have parents from around the state gather in Orlando for a weekend of training, connections, and encouragement. Please check out this link to the conference program so you can begin to plan which workshops you wish to attend. You will also receive a hard copy of the program when you check in. The Marriott Renaissance Orlando at Sea World is a large venue and a map of the hotel is included in the program. Here are a few details that we thought might be helpful to know before you arrived:

  • the Resort fee is not included in your room rate – you have the option to add it at check in
  • Complimentary guest room internet is included for Marriott Rewards members paying for their own rooms
  • 50% discount on self parking for guests
  • Registration for Adults is by the Oceans meeting rooms
  • Registration for child care is on the second floor
  • Registration for tweens is the Grouper Room Second floor
  • Registration for NexGen & Inspiring Self Success will be at the Coral Ballroom

We look forward to meeting you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to a FSFAPA board member if you have a question or concern. Safe travels, and we will see you on Friday!

2017 FSFAPA Conference Program Released!

Posted June 8, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Get a sneak peek at the conference lineup and the descriptions of all the breakout sessions.  Plan your schedules for Orlando!

Click here to open the PDF or download the Conference Program.

Lauren & Tony Dungy in new GAL PSA

Posted June 8, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Pro Football Football Hall of Fame member tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, have several adopted children and are current foster parents in Hillsborough County.  They filmed a Public Service Announcement promoting the Guardian Ad Litem Program recently. The spot was paid for by the nonprofit Voices for Children Tampa Bay.

Please share this!

Foster Care Alumni Scholarships Available for 25+

Posted May 30, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Announcement from the Foster Care Alumni of America:

Over the past several years, legislative actions have improved access to education for young alumni, but there is still a gap for older alumni of care. We recognize there are many strong alumni leaders who still need financial support to continue their education.

At Foster Care Alumni of America, we believe in all people in and from foster care, which is why we launched a scholarship program last year to bridge this access gap. This scholarship serves our alumni members aged 25 and older who wish to pursue higher education.

Last year the scholarship was awarded to Alex McFarland, a graduate student pursuing a degree in Veterinary Medicine.

We are pleased to say that applications are available now to apply for the 2017-2018 FCAA Scholarship!

To apply or to learn more, please visit the Foster Care Alumni of America website HERE.

Updated Conference Schedule Released

Posted May 28, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

UPDATED (5/28) CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: (Click here to download PDF)

For more information on the FSFAPA Annual Education Conference, click here.

State Park passes for foster, adoptive families signed into law

Posted May 23, 2017 by FloridaFAPA


Foster families will get free annual passes to Florida state parks under a bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday.

Sponsored by Rep. Larry Lee in the House and Sen. Aaron Bean in the Senate, the new law provides families who operate a licensed family foster home free family annual passes and a discount on base campsite fees at Florida State Parks. Families who adopt children with special needs would be eligible to receive a one-time family annual entrance pass to the Florida State Parks.

It also requires the Division of Recreation and Parks to work with the Department of Children and Families to identify the types of documentation needed to establish eligibility for discounts.

The law requires the division to continue to partner with DCF to promote foster care and the adoption of children with special needs through events held during National Foster Care Month and National Adoption Month.

The law goes into effect on July 1.

The bill was one of 16 the governor signed into law on Wednesday.

Governor Scott Signs “Key to Independence Act” Into Law

Posted May 3, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 60, known as the “Keys to Independence Act,” which helps children in Florida’s foster care system obtain driver’s licenses. This legislation makes permanent a pilot program signed into law by Governor Scott in 2014 and expands the program to include children in out-of-home settings, such as relative or non-relative care givers.

Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to sign this legislation today to help Florida’s teens in foster care and out-of-home settings obtain their drivers licenses. This bill continues our efforts to help children in our foster system thrive and live their dreams in our state. I would like to thank DCF Secretary Mike Carroll and Florida Guardian ad Litem Executive Director Alan Abramowitz for their hard work on this important legislation.”

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll said, “Ensuring foster children in Florida have the opportunity to take part in age-appropriate activities such as participating in extracurricular activities, going to the beach, and getting a driver’s license is important for developing life-skills and healthy emotional development. We are grateful for the support from Governor Scott and the Florida legislature in removing barriers for children in foster care to have the same opportunities as every other child.”

To see a copy of the transmittal letter, click HERE.

2017 Awards Nominations Open

Posted April 25, 2017 by FloridaFAPA
Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association 2017 Awards Nominations
Nominations must be received by May 1, 2017
Caring Hearts Award – to honor a licensed foster family for quality service to children, exemplary partnership with the system of care and dedication to children and their families, who are involved in the foster care system.
Forever Hearts Award – to honor an adoptive family that represents the very best in Florida by providing permanency and a loving family to children in care, with specific attention to special needs, siblings, maintaining connections, and supporting and mentoring other adoptive families.
Kinship Caregiver Award – to honor a kinship caregiver for quality care given to children of family who have found themselves in need of a stable loving environment.  Note: this may include non-blood related “kin”.
Partner in Caring Award – to honor a worker or partner (case manager, licensing/placement, Independent Living, GAL) who embodies partnership and collaboration with foster parents and the families served.
Rising Star Award – to honor a youth for progress and positive gains, goal setting and accomplishments either academically, socially, mentoring other youth, and personal achievements
Leadership through Example Award – to honor a CBC for demonstrating their commitment to children, families and foster parents through positive actions intended to strengthen partnerships and create a culture of caring through the system of care.
Please provide information about EACH of the following 6 items:
  1. Award Category
  2. Name and Address of nominee(s)
  3. Agency and Address of CBC and/or Licensing Agency
  4. Name of person submitting this nomination and best way to contact (phone/email)
  5. A description (qualities, actions, characteristics, behaviors) of how your nominee meets the criteria for the selected award
  6. Will your agency cover travel expenses for your nominee to receive this award at the annual
FSFAPA Conference in Orlando June 16-18?
Submit to Gay Frizzell, Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) Advisor at:

Accepting Nominations for EVP, VP & Secretary

Posted April 12, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association is now accepting nominations for Executive Vice President, Vice President and Secretary. Nomination forms and a detailed description of position requirements and responsibilities are attached here or please feel free to contact the Nominations Chair, Dr. Thomas Croom for additional information.

To download the nomination forms, including duties of each position, click here.

Conference Scholarship Opportunity

Posted February 28, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Deadline: May 5, 2017

• Are you an adoptive, kinship/relative or non-relative caregiver/parent?
• Are you no longer licensed as a foster parent?
• Do your children still live in your home?

If you answer “YES” to these questions, we have a scholarship opportunity for you!

FSFAPA is awarding scholarships for families to attend the Annual Education Conference “Our Journey, Your Dreams”. The scholarship will include registrations for your family as well as your hotel reservations for two nights.

If you are interested, please complete the online Conference Registration and in the box for payment indicate this is for the Adoptive/Kinship Scholarship. Once your registration is received we will contact you to provide 50-100 words on why you want to attend the conference this year with your family.

All applicants must or will be, 2017 dues paid members of FSFAPA.

Any questions, please contact Trudy Petkovich, or 305-213-6627.

Duprey Adoptive Parent Survey 2017

Posted February 25, 2017 by FloridaFAPA-sec
Hello Everyone,

Below you will find a link to a survey.  We have been ask to forward this to our members.  Please read and if interested please take the survey.

            My name is Ryan Duprey, and I am a doctoral candidate at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN.  I am in the process of completing my dissertation study focusing on adoptive parents, and would like your help in furthering adoption research.  Your participation in this study may benefit future adoptive parents, adoption agencies looking to place children, as well as the mental health providers who support adoptive parents!  The survey is not long, and can be completed in about 15 minutes.
This study focuses on adoptive parents who:
Have adopted from foster care
Are currently married
Have children between the ages of 3 and 15 years old
As an incentive to complete this study, you can choose to be entered into a drawing for one of four $25 VISA gift cards!
If you are interested in participating in this study, please click on the hyperlink below and it will take you to a Survey Monkey® website.  Survey Monkey® is a secure website with many layers of encryption to protect your answers to these questions.  While this study may ask about the make-up of your family, it will NOT ASK ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION, such as your name, address, etc.
Thank you for your participation!
Ryan Duprey, LMFT
Trevecca Nazarene University
Nashville, TN

Sunshine Health offers Trauma Informed Care Courses

Posted January 29, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Graham Perkovich of Sunshine Health shared that they are holding Trauma Informed Care (TIC) online trainings.  The trainings are live webinars in the evenings, (register on the links below) and then enjoy some great evening trainings!  All trainings are at no cost, and all participants will receive a certificate of attendance, within 5 business days.

Trauma Informed Care (TIC) training dates:

TIC part 2            January 31, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time

TIC part 3             February 13, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time

TIC part 4             February 27, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time

TIC part 5             March 13, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time

FCC’s Rally in Tally Schedule Released

Posted December 29, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Join the Florida Coalition for Children Foundation in advocating on behalf of  Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected and at-risk children at Rally in Tally!

Register Now

(See FSFAPA’s event page for Rally in Tally for additional updates)

Rally in Tally is dedicated to educating our foster youth, families, and child welfare workers on advocating for their needs with Florida’s lawmakers. We want to offer our advocates, especially our youth, the opportunity to meet one-on-one with legislators and share their stories and experiences. As part of the child welfare system, they bring awareness to the issues facing the system each day across the state.

This year, we will offer our members the opportunity to take one of two workshops: Advocacy 101, geared toward our youth and families or those who are new to the legislative process; and Advocacy 102, focused on refreshing those who have advocated previously and who are leading discussions on the Coalition’s legislative priorities.

Event Timeline:

Monday, January 9

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CEO Cocktail Reception DoubleTree

An informal opportunity to network and discuss the upcoming event, the cocktail reception will feature light hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine. Legislators are invited to attend.

Tuesday, January 10

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Event TBA

Lunch – On Your Own

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Registration City Hall
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Workshops – Advocacy 101 and 102 City Hall

Advocacy 101 – All foster and adopted youth, families, and staff are invited to attend this workshop focused on introducing participants to the legislative process, advocating on behalf of the child welfare system and etiquette.
Advocacy 102 – All CEOs, lobbyists and executives are invited to attend this workshop focused on the Coalition’s legislative priorities and advocacy efforts for the 2017 Legislative Session.

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Pizza Party Fire Betty’s Arcade Bar

Camp Warrior and the Florida Coalition for Children Foundation invite all Rally in Tally attendees to join us for an Old Fashioned Pizza Party at Fire Betty’s Arcade Bar! Food, Drinks, and Arcade Tokens will be provided!

Wednesday, January 11

7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Legislative Kick-Off Breakfast Capitol Building, 22nd Floor

Join us as we kick off the 2017 Legislative Session and hear from some of child welfare’s leading legislative advocates, and a special appearance by All-American and former Florida State Seminole, Corey Simon!

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Meetings with Legislators Capitol Building

The Florida Coalition for Children Foundation encourages you to meet with legislators during this time, for more information on how to schedule those meetings, please click here

Participating is easy…

  1. Register for the Event!
    Your payment of $60/person; or $100/Foster Family can be made online with your registration. All registrations are final and refunds will not be given. Only substitutions or transfers will be allowed.
  2. Reserve Your Hotel Room!
    This year Rally in Tally has partnered with two Hilton properties in Tallahassee to offer our participants a discounted group rate:
    • DoubleTree offers both 1- and 2-bed Guest Rooms, and is located just 2 blocks from Kleman Plaza. The group rate they are offering Rally in Tally registrants is $169/night. You can reserve your room with DoubleTree (link coming soon).
    • You can reserve your room with DoubleTree online, or by calling 877-800-2652 (be sure to reference group code “Rally in Tally”).
    • Home 2 Suites offers both 1-Queen and 2-Queen Suites, and is located less than 1.5 mi from Kleman Plaza. The group rate they are offering Rally in Tally registrants is $119/night.
    • You can reserve your room with Home2Suites online, or by calling 850-402-8900 (be sure to reference group code “Rally in Tally”).
  3. Contact Legislators to Schedule Meetings!
    Click here to learn more about scheduling meetings with your local representatives.

Lawmakers consider therapy dogs, other benefits for foster children

Posted December 29, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Click to see original story on News4Jax website.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Therapy dogs in court and free family access to state parks are among provisions pending before the Florida Legislature next year to help foster children.

Alan Abramowitz

Alan Abromowitz, executive director for the state’s guardian ad litem program, said he thinks having dogs with children who have to go through the justice system will be helpful.

“It makes a big difference in kids being able to testify,” Abromowitz said. “The courts love it, but most important, it reduces trauma.”

State Sen. Aaron Bean sponsored two of three proposed bills next session aimed at helping those in the state’s foster-care system to grow and thrive.

Bean calls the state park fee waiver a win-win.

“It’s a small token to say, ‘Thank you,'” Bean said. “We know going to a park is a great way to bond with your family.”

Bean is also supporting helping foster families with expenses when the children turn 15 and qualify to start driving.

“I have a driver in my household, and it increases your insurance. It increases the wear and tear on a vehicle,” Bean said.

Abromowitz said this bill, called the Keys to Independence Act, is already in use for select families and he’s hopeful it will gain statewide traction.

“It was pilot, and we want to make it permanent, and Aaron Bean is a champion for kids, so we’re excited about him taking on these two issues,” Abromowitz said.

The 2017 legislative session begins March 7.

Copyright 2016 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.