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

Conference Exhibitor Application

Posted February 20, 2019 by FloridaFAPA

2019 FloridaFAPA Annual Education Conference
Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort
June 21-23, 2019

Your Business is invited to join us at the 2019 Annual Education Conference of the Florida Foster Adoptive Parent Association. The conference will be held June 21-23, 2019, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. The exhibit hall will be open for 3 days:

    • June 21 – Noon to 6 p.m.
    • June 22 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • June 23 – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FloridaFAPA is a Florida, 501c3 non-profit association that serves to Support, Educate and Advocate for Foster, Adoptive, Kinship Parents as they care for our children in foster care.  We promote quality education and training for families. Our primary goal is always to serve the parents through advocating for legislative changes, increase community awareness, and provide support and mentorship for the foster, adoptive and kinship parents.

Being an exhibitor at the FloridaFAPA Annual Education Conference provides you with the following opportunities:

  • Networking with more the 300 families, caregivers and professional organizations within the child welfare system in Florida.
  • Strengthening existing relationships with existing partners/clients.
  • Meeting new customers.
  • Showcasing your product in a hands on atmosphere.
  • Increasing provider visibility and name recognition.

FloridaFAPA will provide:

  • Pre-conference and post-conference registration lists for continued networking.

If you have any questions please contact Melanie Stimmell. If you prefer a paper application (and want to pay by check) click here.

Please enter the security code:
security code
Security Code:

Submit & Pay

DCF Celebrates Foster Family Appreciation Week

Posted February 13, 2019 by FloridaFAPA
For Immediate Release: 
February 12, 2019 

Recognizing Community Partners and Families

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed the second week of February as Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week, observed on February 11-15, 2019, to celebrate the enduring and invaluable contributions foster families provide to children in their care.

First Lady Casey DeSantis said, “Our state is blessed for the contribution of foster parents and the families they create. Whether a foster family is together for a short period of time or longer, the impact of the relationship is forever. As a mother, I am truly grateful for those who create a loving and nurturing environment for children and encourage all Floridians to find a way to help build and rebuild families in their own communities.”  

“I applaud Florida’s foster families and every individual who plays a part in the fostering process as they help to change the life of a child in their community,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell. “It is difficult for us to imagine what a child must feel during such a difficult time, but a foster parent can change a child’s heart by providing the love, joy, and security they want and need.”

Florida currently has 7,287 children who live with foster families. Foster parents provide a supportive, safe, and loving home to children who have been removed from their homes. Foster parents serve as role models, not only to the child, but also to biological parents.

“Our foster parents play a vital role in the lives of the children we serve. They provide love and nurturing until we can place a child in a safe and permanent home,” said Florida Coalition for Children CEO Kurt Kelly. “It’s important that we honor them while also recognizing that we still have a critical need for more foster parents in our communities.”

The positive partnerships DCF shares with parents, foster families, community-based care agencies, non-profit organizations, state agencies, and the courts are essential. Each one plays a valuable role that makes a solid foundation of resources for children in foster care and the families who support them. 

There are 5,358 licensed foster parents in Florida who selflessly play a pivotal role in the lives of the most vulnerable children. During Foster Family Appreciation Week, join us in making a difference where it really matters and consider becoming a foster family to a child in your community. The need for foster families never ends.

Please visit
Media Contact: DCF Communications, (850) 717-4450 

Helpful links for navigating Insurance/Medicaid changes for 2019

Posted February 11, 2019 by FloridaFAPA

Some helpful links about what is going on with Medicaid (collected and shared by Heather Rosenberg):
Links you may find important or useful:

1. State Plan:

2. Service Specific Handbooks:

3. Model Contract and Child Welfare Specific:

o Sunshine Info. Page and Member Handbook:

4. AHCA Power Point – new contracts:

5. CBCIH website:

6. Medicaid Services:a. MMA Covered Services – all plans (Page 3): Expanded Benefits by plan (new contracts):

• Phase in by county:

c. In Lieu of Services:

Child Welfare Regional Trainings from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Posted December 8, 2018 by FloridaFAPA
Click on the flyer for information on upcoming Child Welfare Regional Trainings from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV).  Each regional event includes a two hour evening training specifically for former, current, or future Foster Parents and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). The purpose of this training is to enhance both the understanding and response to domestic violence as it relates to survivors and children of survivors. This training will focus on developing skills that are conducive to perpetuating a positive environment for survivors and their children while simultaneously providing empowerment based advocacy and effective solutions in cases involving the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse.

Adoption Month Resources

Posted November 10, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

From our friends at the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program:

We’ve got some great video & radio for National Adoption Month that we’re hoping you’ll post for your followers.

There is a video, “The Power of Adoption,” that is 6:15 long. Here is the link:

And there is an excellent call-in show on adoption on WFSU-FM, followed by a feature story that includes the same voices. Here are the links:

Perspectives: Adoption From All Sides

Adoption Awareness Month: Building Strong Foster and Adoptive Families

Smile! Amazon offering 10x the benefit to charities

Posted October 29, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

Follow this link to set your account to support FloridaFAPA … and we’ll get 10 times the regular benefit (5%) until Nov. 2 (back to .5% of each purchase after that time frame.)

Another way to help Panhandle foster/adoptive families

Posted October 22, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

The Florida Coalition for Children has set up an Amazon Wishlist to allow people to donate directly to Hurricane Michael victims.


Per Victoria Vangalis Zepp, Florida Coalition for Children’s EVP & Chief Policy and Research Officer, “Purchases will be shipped to FCC and we’ll either move to the warehouse or our teams can pick up from there (for distribution.)”

ELECTION RESULTS: New President in 2019

Posted October 20, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

Amanda Williams

FloridaFAPA’s election results are in, and Amanda Williams will lead the organization as President starting on Jan. 1, 2019.

Amanda has been a foster parent for the last 7 years in Gainesville. She has served on the FloridaFAPA board as regional vice president, independent living chair and has led the teen programs at our conferences for the last few years. She is also a past president of the Alachua County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.

Donate to Support Panhandle Families

Posted October 11, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

A core part of FloridaFAPA’s mission is to support foster and adoptive families in Florida, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael many of our families in the Panhandle are in need.


Donations to FloridaFAPA will be used to support these foster and adoptive families through direct support, assistance in locating/coordinating services and other needs as we become aware of them.  We will also use these resources to support our member foster/adoptive parent associations in this region so that they may also better support the foster and adoptive families in their service areas.


Check back to this site and our Facebook Page for updates.

FloridaFAPA (formerly The Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association) is a 501(c)3 volunteer organization established in 1987 to address the needs of foster and adoptive families in Florida.

Michael C. Williams Named Permanent President and Chief Executive Officer at Our Kids 

Posted October 6, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

(Miami, FL – Oct. 3, 2018) – The Board of Trustees for Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. (Our Kids) announced that Michael C. Williams has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, effective immediately; erasing “interim” from his title after just over a month. 

Mr. Williams had been serving as Our Kids’ Interim President and CEO following the tragic and untimely passing of former CEO George H. Sheldon. Mr. Sheldon, who joined Our Kids in June 2017, handpicked Mr. Williams to fill the then-vacant role of Chief Operating Officer back in October 2017. 

“We have had the opportunity to get to know Michael first-hand for a year now; and it is clear to see why George was so set on hiring Michael last year. Michael is undoubtedly committed to protecting and advocating for all children and families – a quality that is invaluable to everyone at our agency,” said Kate Callahan, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Our Kids. “His knowledge of the child welfare system along with his professional experience make him the ideal person to lead our agency as we mourn the loss of George Sheldon, and beyond.” 

Prior to joining Our Kids, Mr. Williams was serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Operations for Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families where he was known as an innovator. A progressive leader, Mr. Williams has led system change efforts to meet children’s needs while simultaneously obtaining full community participation. With over 20 years of child welfare experience, Mr. Williams not only understands the intricacies of child welfare and behavioral health systems, he has a proven track record of creating culturally competent service systems that meet the needs of children and their families. 

“I am very grateful and excited for the opportunity to lead this agency as we approach the final stages of procuring a five-year lead agency contract with the Department; and look forward to building on the successes we have already seen from the implementation of our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan and furthering our goal of ensuring that all children grow up in safe, loving, nurturing, and permanent families,” concluded Mr. Williams. 

About Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc.: 

Incorporated in 2002, Our Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created in response to the need for local leadership, oversight and coordination of the foster care system. As the non-profit lead agency for community based care in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, Our Kids oversees and directs a coordinated system of care that provides crucial services to abused, abandoned, and neglected children in the community. Our Kids’ mission is to create safe havens for these children and their families through adoption, foster/kindship care, and other related services. 

DCF Issues Letter on Foster Parent Records

Posted September 11, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

Deputy DCF Secretary David Fairbanks issued a letter to all foster parents regarding recent events, including the request for foster parent records by the Sarasota Herald Tribune.  The text of the letter is below:

September 11, 2018 

Dear partners, 

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to ensuring the safety of all children, especially those involved in the child welfare system. The department’s most valued partners are the wonderful people who make the choice to bring a child into their homes and their hearts, with an understanding of the high levels of trust and responsibility that are being placed upon them. 

It is with deep sorrow that I must inform you that a foster parent was injured in a horrific attack last month by a biological parent of children in her care. As our most valued partners in child welfare, we too understand the level of trust that foster parents across the state place with the department when it relates to protecting their personal information and I can assure you that no information about this foster parent was released by DCF. 

As many of you are aware, a public records request was recently submitted to the DCF Office of Communications by the Sarasota Herald Tribune for a list of names for all licensed foster parents and corresponding counties. Our office worked closely with DCF’s legal counsel and the newspaper to explain the type of information being requested and how this could affect the states’ licensed foster parents. 

Because we are unable to ensure that the release of this information will not jeopardize the safety of foster parents or the children in their care, DCF will not be releasing any information regarding foster parents in Florida. Also, we will seek legislative action during the upcoming legislative session to put further protections in place for Florida’s foster parents. This legislative action will balance the need for transparency to ensure accountability within Florida’s foster system while still allowing the department to protect the safety of children, which is always our number one priority. 

As you are aware, foster parent’s identifying information in the wrong hands can lead to unsafe situations for foster parents and the children in their care. The State of Florida remains committed to protecting foster parents and will continue our fight to keep their information confidential. 


David L. Fairbanks 

Deputy Secretary 

Department of Children and Families 

FloridaFAPA Executive Director Trudy Petkovich said, “DCF has informed us that they expect some fall out from not honoring the records request, but we fully support their effort to stand up for our caregivers and the children in their homes.”

FloridaFAPA is joining DCF and others in urging the legislature to strengthen the language protecting our  families and records pertaining to those homes.  Our goal is to have these records gain protection (public record exemption) under Chapter 119 of Florida Statutes in the next legislative session.

FloridaFAPA statement: Protect Foster Families

Posted September 1, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

In light of recent events (public records request, foster parent attacked) FloridaFAPA’s board has released this statement:


FloridaFAPA believes that Foster parents should be afforded high levels of protection, as they are crucial to the safety of our most vulnerable children. We are working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure protections increase in the near future.


Governor Names Kapusta DCF Interim Secretary

Posted August 29, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday named Rebecca Kapusta to serve as interim secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Kapusta has been at the department for 12 years, most recently working as assistant secretary for operations, according to a news release from Scott’s office. She previously worked in the legal department, including as the department’s general counsel.

Kapusta will replace Secretary Mike Carroll, who announced recently he is leaving the agency effective Sept. 6. She earns $125,000 annually, according to a state website. Among other things, the Department of Children and Families administers mental-health, homeless and foster-care programs.

The department also determines Medicaid eligibility and administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Report by News Service of Florida

Foster Parent Information Deserves Protection

Posted August 23, 2018 by FloridaFAPA

FloridaFAPA wants to make its members aware that there has been a public records request for all foster parent names and their county of residence. The request was made by a reputable newspaper under Florida’s broad public records laws (Florida Statute Chapter 119).

We are working with the Department of Children and Families, the Office of the Governor and Florida Coalition for Children to ensure that the scope of the disclosure by the state is limited to only what is required under current law.

  • Most foster parent records — including address information — is protected from disclosure by DCF under FS Ch. 409.175
  • At this time it appears that the requested county information will not be disclosed
  • Foster parent names are not protected records and will likely have to be disclosed
  • DCF will be contacting all foster parents soon with additional information
FloridaFAPA strongly believes that foster parents records deserve strong protection — to shield Florida’s most vulnerable children and the foster parents that care for them. Therefore, FloridaFAPA and our partners intend to work with the legislature to ensure increased protection in the future.
We are here to protect and support foster and adoptive parents throughout the state and this is just one of the items we will be taking on this year. Thank you for all that you do!

Officer Nominations Are In

Posted July 29, 2018 by FloridaFAPA
The following were nominated for President at the June Quarterly Membership Meeting
Harriett Wynn
Christopher Johnson
Kara Elliott-Jordan
Saralyn Grass
Amanda Williams
The sole nominee for Treasurer is Paul Vernon.
More information on the nominees to come!
Nominations are now closed.