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

Trans-racial foster, adoptive parent study seeks participants

Posted August 17, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Are you currently fostering a child of a different race or culture than you? Have you adopted a child (or in the process of adopting) a child of a different race or culture?  If so, you may be eligible to participate in an online study (including an online parenting course.)

The study involves an online instructional course for transracial foster and adoptive parents (parents only, not the children).  The procedures include collection of participant e-mail addresses (kept confidential), informed consent, pre-course measure, participation in a 2-hour online course, a post-course measure and a follow-up phone interview for those interested. (Participants will be assigned to the study course or a control course.)

Participants will receive a $20 visa gift card.  Deadline to participate is Nov. 22. Total time to complete the study and course is approximately 3 hours.

If you are interested in participating, contact Jordan Montgomery at 850-661-6454 or

How to Speak Child Welfare (AKA Acronyms gone WILD!)

Posted August 15, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Child welfare is a difficult place to spend your time … it can almost simultaneously provide you with the most rewarding, frustrating, exciting and depressing experiences you have ever felt.

One frustration shared often — even by “seasoned” foster parents — is that it seems like everyone in child welfare talks funny (and write even worse!)  The worst offenders seem to just vomit alphabet soup every time they open their mouth. (Keep in mind, they accumulate these acronyms over a period of time immersed in the system, how’s a foster parent supposed to keep up?)

In our effort to help Foster and Adoptive Parents navigate the system, we’ve compiled a list of nearly 500 acronyms that we have accumulated that may help you better understand what your CM means when they say that “The ICPC will be requested by CLS (or SAO/SAG) at the JR unless the GAL or AAL object.” … OK?

If you have any additions, click here.  To download this list as a PDF, click here.


120, 120 Hearing Chapter 120 of the Florida admin code that deals with due process rights with decisions made by agents of the state
4C Community Coordinated Care for Children (Community Services Council in Orlando, Contracts with ELCs in Orange, Osceola counties to oversee VPK, Headshart and School Readiness)
504 (Plan) educational plan developed for child with disability that includes accomodations (federal law)
65c-10 Florida Administrative Code (rules) regarding child protective investigations (DCF is rulemaking authority)
65c-11 Florida Administrative Code (rules) regarding child protective services (DCF is rulemaking authority)
65c-12 Florida Administrative Code (rules) regarding emergency shelter care (DCF is rulemaking authority)
65c-13 Florida Administrative Code (rules) for foster parent licensing (DCF is rulemaking authority)
65c-14 Florida Administrative Code (rules) regarding child-caring agency licensing (DCF is rulemaking authority)
65c-15 Florida Administrative Code (rules) regarding child-placing agencies (DCF is rulemaking authority)
65c-16 Florida Administrative Code (rules) regarding adoptions (DCF is rulemaking authority)
AAL Attorney ad Litem (Note: plural is “Attorneys as Litem” … possessive is “Attorney ad Litem’s”)
AARC Adoption Application Review Committee
ABA American Bar Association
ABA Applied Behavioral Analysis
ACCESS Program used by Economic Self-Sufficiency program to allow customers to connect with their public assistance info
ACE Adverse Childhood Experiences
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADJ Adjudication
ADM Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Office
ADR Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADS Affidavit of Diligent Search
AES Adoption Exchange System
AFCARS Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (national data collection)
AG Office of Attorney General (acts as CLS in some counties)
AHCA Agency for Health Care Administration
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
ALJ Administrative Law Judge
AP Absent Parent (Not recommended, careful with context can mean “adoptive parent” or “alleged perpatrator”)
AP Adoptive Parent (Not recommended, careful with context can mean “absent parent” or “alleged perpatrator”)
AP Alleged Perpetrator (Not recommended, careful with context can mean “absent parent” or “adoptive parent”)
APD Agency for Persons with Disabilities
APE Adapted Physical Education
APHSA American Public Human Services Association
APPLA Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement
APS Adult Protective Services
ARIS Abuse Reporting Information Services
ARS Adoption & Related Services
ASA Assistant State Attorney
ASFA Adoption & Safe Families Act
ASL American Sign Language
AT Assistive Technology
ATC Adoption Tax Credit
BA Behavior Analyst
BA OR BA-52 Baker Act (Involuntary Commitment for mental health; up to 72 hours)
BASP Behavior Analysts Services Program
BBCBC Big Bend Community Based Care
BD Behavior Disorder
BD Bio Dad or Birth Dad (informal, generally on social media discussions between foster parents)
BFP Brevard Family Partnership (CBC Circuit 18)
BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs
BIP Batterers Intervention Program/Plan
BM Bio Mom or Birth Mom (informal, generally on social media discussions between foster parents)
BSHCN Federal Bureau of Special Health Care Needs
BSIU Background Screening and Investigation Unit
BSW Bachelor’s of Social Work
C-# Judicial Circuit (i.e. C-6 or C6 = Circuit 6)  Florida has 20 judicial circuits, most consist of multiple counties.
CAC Community Advisory Committee on Special Education
CAM Child Advocate Manager (part of the GAL office)
CAP Corrective Action Plan
CAPTA Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act
CASA “Court Appointed Special Advocate” (Florida uses term Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)
CASE Community Alliance for Special Education
CATT Child to Adult Transition Team
CBC Community Based Care
CBCCF, CBCCFL Community Based Care of Central Florida (CBC serving circuits 9 and 18; Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties)
CBHA Comprehensive Behavioral Health Assessment
CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT Competency Based Training
CDRT Child Death Review Team
CE Continuing Education
CEC Continuing Education Credits
CEU Continuing Education Units (Credits)
CFOP, OP Children and Families Operating Procedures
CH Child
CHAMPs Children Need Amazing Parents; a national communications and policy campaign focused on quality parenting (Part of QPI program)
Chapter 39 Florida Statute relating to children
Chapter 409 Florida Statutes regulating social & economic assistance (also outlines CBC and DCF duties and accountability)
Chapter 63 Florida Statutes regulating Adoption
Chrono Chronological Notes
CHS Childrens Home Society (child welfare services provider across the state of Florida, services vary by area)
CIC Child in Care
CIO Chief Information Officer
CIP Court Improvement Program/Continuous Improvement Program
CIRRT Critical Incident Rapid Response Team (Multidiciplinary team from DCF that investigates child fatalities)
CIS Client Information System
CJC Child Justice Center
CLS Children’s Legal Services (Attorney)
CM Case Manager
CMA Case Management Agency (same as CMO)
CMAT Children’s Multidisciplinary Team
CMH Children Mental Health
CMO Case Management Organization
CMS Children’s Medical Services
CN or CNI ChildNet, Inc.  Broward and Palm Beach (CBC, Circuits 15 & 17)
CNSWFL Childrens Network Southwest Florida (CBC in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties; Circuit 20)
CoF Circle of Friends –
CoP Circle of Parents
CP Cerebral Palsy
CP Case Plan
CPC Community Partnership for Children
CPI Child Protective Investigator
CPP Child Parent Psychotherapy(ist)
CPS Child Protection Specialist
CPT Child Protection Team
CQI Continuous Quality Improvement (process)
CRC Case Review Committee
CRP Citizen Review Panel
CS Courtesy Supervision
CSA Abuse Report/Child Safety Assessment
CSC Childrens Service Council; special taxing district under FS Ch 125 and the agencies created to manage funds and services for the needs of chidren in that community
CSEC Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Child (Human Trafficking)
CSFR Child and Family Services Review
CSP Child Support Program (Formerly CSE – Child Support Enforcement)
CW Caseworker
CWLS Child Welfare Legal Services
CWPMHP Child Welfare Prepaid Mental Health Plan
Cx Child/Children
D&A Drug and Alcohol (Not recommended, only useful in print, verbally challenging as it sounds like “DNA”)
DA District Administrator
DB Deaf/Blind
DCA District Court of Appeals
DCF, The Department Florida Department of Children & Families
DCIC Dependency Court Improvement Council/Committee
DCM Dependency Case Manager
DCMS Dependency Case Manager Supervisor
DD Developmental Disability
DFL Directions For Living (a social services provider in the Tampa Bay Area with focus on mental health; also a CMO in Pinellas County)
DHHS Department of Health and Human Services
DIS Designated Instruction and Services
Dispo Dispositional hearing
DJJ Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (Molecular level of blood that contains genetic information, used for paternity/relative testing)
DOAH Administrative Hearings (120 Hearing) – Acronym stands for Division of Administrative Hearings
DOB Date of Birth
DOE U.S. Department of Education
DOH Department of Health (usually reference to the state or local entity, federal is HHS or Dept of Health and Human Services)
DOR Florida Department of Revenue
DPM District Program Manager
DQM Data Quality Management
DREDF Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
DS Developmental Services
DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (currently in 5th edition so sometimes DSM-5); official US classifications for diagnoses of disorders
DTF Diversity Task Force (Not recommended, there are other informal uses of this acronym that are sexual in nature)
DV Domestic Violence
DVRA Domestic Violence Risk Assessment
EBP Evidence Based Practice
ECA Eckerd Community Alternatives (former name of Eckerd Kids CBCs in Tampa Bay Area)
ECC Early Childhood Court
ED Emotionally Disturbed
EFC Extended Foster Care
EH Emotionally Handicapped
EI Early Intervention
ELC Early Learning Coalition, local branch of Florida’s office of Early Learning; oversees VPK and school readiness programs (including child care assitance funding)
ELL English Language Learner (previously ESL)
EMH Emotionally & Mentally Handicapped
EPSDT Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment
ER Emergency Room
ES Emergency Shelter
ESI Early Services Intervention
ESS Economic Self-Sufficiency (public assistance program)
ESY Extended School Year
EYA Eckerd Youth Alternatives (Now operates as Eckerd Kids, parent of Eckerd Kids CBCs in circuits 6 & 13)
FAC Florida Administrative Code, documents how state agencies apply statutes
FAF Fostering Achievement Fellowship
FAHIS Florida Abuse Hotline Information System
FAPA Foster and Adoptive Parent Association
FAPE Free and Appropriate Public Education
FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
FASD Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
FAST Foster Allegations Support Team
FBA Functional Behavioral Assessment
FBCH Florida Baptist Children’s Home (service provider and CMO in many areas of state)
FBO Faith Based Organization
FC Foster Care
FC Foster child (tends to be more casual use, i.e. among foster parents on closed social media groups)
FCC Florida Coalition for Children (Comprised of various CBCs and child welfare provider agencies)
FCM Family Care Manager
FCP Family Centered Practice
FD Foster daughter (tends to be more casual use, i.e. among foster parents on closed social media groups)
FDLE Florida Department of Law Enforcement
FDLRS Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FF Family Finding/Family Finders
FFCPBC Friends of Foster Children Palm Beach County (Foster & Adoptive Parent Association)
FFH Family Foster Home
FFN Families First Network
FH Foster Home
FHD Foster Home Development (Licensing)
FICW Florida Institute for Child Welfare –
FIP Family Integrity Program -St. Johns County Bd. of Commissioners (CBC, Circuit 7)
FL CFSR Florida Child and Family Service Review
FLAC Florida Local Advocacy Council
FLAG Family Law Advisory Group
FMLA Family Medical Leave Act (Federal law regarding upaid family leave)
FP Foster Parent(s)
FPA Foster Parent Association (see also FAPA, FSFAPA & NFPA)
FS Foster son (tends to be more casual use, i.e. among foster parents on closed social media groups)
FS Florida Statutes
FSC Family Services Counselor (term used in place of “case manager” or “case worker” in some agencies)
FSFAPA Foster State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association (see also FPA & NFPA)
FSFN Florida Safe Families Network – State controlled database of all case related information
FSS Familiy Support Services
FSYR Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches
FTM Family Team Meeting
FTT Failure to Thrive (common diagnosis for children coming into the system, generally associated with undersize, underweight and/or behind on development)
Fx Father
FY Fiscal Year (Child welfare operates on government fiscal year; July 1-June 30
FYLA Florida Youth Leadership Academy
GAL Guardian ad Litem (Note: plural is “Guardians ad litem;” possessive is “Guardian ad Litem’s”)
GF (GF!) Go Foster!
GFx Grandfather
GMx Grandmother
HB House Bill (Federal or State legislation)
HCFPA Hillsborough County Family Partnership Alliance (Foster & Adoptive Parent Association)
HCICA Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption (Netherlands); governs international adoptions between US and 75 countries, implemented by IAA
HFC Heartland For Children (CBC in Polk, Hardee & Highlands counties – Circuit 10)
HHS US Department of Health and Human Services, Cabinet level agency (federal iteration of “health department”)
HI Hearing Impaired
HIPPA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; often cited for rules establishing data privacy and safeguarding of data
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus (the virus which leads to AIDS)
HKI Hillsborough Kids Inc (former Tampa CBC)
HMO Health Maintenance Organization
HOH Hard of Hearing
Hotline Child Abuse Hotline
HS Home Study
HV Home Visit
IAA Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, federal law enacting Hague Convention of Intercountry Adoptions in US
ICAMA Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance
ICCP Intensive Crisis Counseling Program
ICP Initial Case Plan
ICPC Interstate Compact for Placement of Children
ICSA Initial Child Safety Assessment
ICWA Indian Child Welfare Act
ICWSIS Integrated Child Welfare Services Information System
ID Intellectual Disability (to replace MR)
IDEA Federal law;  Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004
IDS Initial Decision Summary
IEE Independent Educational Evaluation
IEP Individualized Education Plan/Program (under Federal Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004)
IEPA Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996 (Federal legislationt that removed many hurdles to adoptions across ethnicities)
IFPS Intensive Family Preservation Services
IFSP Individualized Family Service Plan
IG Inspector General (Internal compliance inspector within DCF and many other state agencies)
IL Independent Living
ILP Independent Living Program
ILS Independent Living Services
IPP Individual Program Plan (Regional Center)
IR-3 IR-3 Visa for intercountry adoption (completed abroad)
IR-4 IR-4 Visa for intercountry adoption (to be finalized in the US)
IRAS Incident Reporting and Analysis System
IRS Internal Revenue Service (federal)
ISS International Social Services
ITP Individual Transition Plan
IV-B Portion of the social security act whose monies are used for services related to prevention of and response to child abuse and neglect
IV-E Title IV-E funds (Social Security Administration): Federal funds that provide primary funding for social welfare programs and policies
IV-E (Title IV-E) Part of the Social Security Act; The major source of federal funds for child welfare, specifies eligibility and allowable use of funds
JAC Justice Administrative Commission
JAC Juvenile Assessment Center
JDC Juvenile Detention Center
JJ Juvenile Justice
JR Judicial Review
JRSSR Judicial Review and Social Study Report (filed by Case Manager)
JTT Just in Time Trainings
JWB Juvenile Welfare Board (Childrens Service Council in Pinellas County)
KCI Kids Central Inc. (CBC in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties – Circuit 5)
KFF Kids First of Florida, Inc. (CBC in Clay County, Circuit 4)
LD Learning Disability
LE Law Enforcement
LEA Local Education Agency
LEO Law Enforcement Officer
LEP Limited English Proficient
LGBTQ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexal, Trans, Queer
LOC Level of Care Staffing
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
LSF Lake Sumter Families – foster adoptive parent association for Lake and Sumter Counties
LSF Lutheran Services Florida (CMO or service provider; provides case management in Pinellas County)
MAPP Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (one Foster Parent preservice training option)
MAS Maintenance Adoption Subsidy
MBI Manifest Best Interest Hearing
MCR Missing Child Report
MD Multiple Disabilities
MDCFAPA Miami Dade County Foster Adoptive Parent Association
MDT Multidisciplinary Team (also MDT Staffing)
ME Medical Examiner
MEPA Multiethnic Placement Act
MGFx Maternal Grandfather
MGMx Maternal Grandmother
MH Mental Health
MH Multiple Handicapped
MIBH Manifest Best Interest Hearing
Misd Misdemeanor
MR Mental Retardation
MRC Multidisciplinary Review Committee (formally FSPT & CRC)
MS Multiple Sclerorsis
MSW Master’s of Social Work
MTF Master Trust Fund (Account for holding benefit funds for child in care; genrally Social Security or SSI; can be child support, Veteran’s benefits etc.)
MTSS Multi-Tiered System of Support Process (part of IEP/504 federal education laws)
Mx Mother
NACAC North American Council on Adoptable Children
NAMI National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
NAS Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (group of problems that occur in newborns opiate exposed prior to birth)
NCANDS National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System
NCIC National Crime Information Center
NCJFCJ National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
NCLB No Child Left Behind
NCMEC National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
NCSC National Center for State Courts
NFPA National Foster Parent Association
NICU Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit
NIH National Instutie of Health (part of US Dept of Health and Human Services)
NIMH National Institute for Mental Health (part of National Institute of Health under US Dept. of Health and Human Services); researches mental health disorders
NPA Nonpublic Agency
NPS Nonpublic School (private)
NYDT National Youth in Transition Survey
OAG Office of the Attorney General (Acts as CLS in some counties)
OAH Office of Administrative Hearings
OCI Office of Court Improvement
OCR U.S. Office for Civil Rights
OCS On-Campus Suspension
ODD Oppositional Defiance Disorder
OEL Office for Early Learning
OEO Office of Equal Opportunity / CDE
OHC Out of Home Care
OHI Other Health Impaired
OI Orthopedically Impaired
OK Our Kids Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. (CBC, Circuits 11 & 16)
OOH, OOHC Out of Home Care (also OHC)
OPA Operations Program Administrator
OSCA Office of the State Courts Administrator
OSEP U.S. Office of Special Education Programs / DOE
OSERS U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Programs
OT Occupational Therapy/Therapist
OT/PT Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy
OTI Out of Town Inquiry
Pa Parent
PA Performance Agreement
PAI Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
PCFAPA Pinellas County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, Pasco County Foster And Adoptive Parent Association
PCIT Parent-Child Interactive Therapy
PD Police Department
PDC Professional Development Center
PDD Pervasive Developmental Disorder
PDR Pre-Dispositional Report
PDS Predisposition Study
PE, Psych Eval Psychological Evaluation
PESS Post Secondary Education and Support Services
PF Protective Factor (risk factor for abuse/safety of child or caregiver’s ability to protect/bond with child), used in investivgations/removals
PFFC Preserving Families and Fostering Connections
PFSF Partnership for Strong Families (CBC in Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Taylor, Baker, Suwanee and Union counties; Circuit 3 & 8)
PG Permanent Guardianship
PGFx Paternal Grandfather
PGMx Paternal Grandmother
PIP Program Improvement Plan/Performance Improvement Plan
PL Public Law
PO Probation Officer or Police Officer
POA Program Operations Administrator
POS Purchase of Service(s) agreement
PPS Post-Placement Supervision
PRIDE Parent Resource for Information Development Education (an option for Foster Parent preservice training; alternative to MAPP)
PS Protective Services
PSF Partnership for Strong Families
PSRS Procedural Safeguards and Referral Services / CDE
PSS Placement Support Staffing
PSSF Promoting Safe and Stable Families program/legislation (federal)
PT Physical Therapy
PTI Parent Training and Information Center
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PWN Prior Written Notice
QA Quality Assurance (Can also be for a Quality Assurance Review)
QE Qualified Evaluator
QPI Quality Parenting Initiative
QPT Quality Parenting Training (a foster parent pre-service training, alternative to MAPP; may also be used as generic term for any QPI training)
R&R Rights & Responsibilities
RA Risk Assessment
RAD Reactive Attachment Disorder
RAP Refugee Assistance Program
RCF Relative Caregiver Funds
RCP Relative Caregiver Program
RDC Remote Data Capture
RFA Request for Assistance
RGC Residential Group Care
RMD DCF Regional Managing Director
RSP Resource Specialist Program
RTC Residential Treatment Center
RTI Response to Intervention
RTI Road to Independence (the old IL program)
RULE Usually refers to Florida Administrative Code, documenting how state agencies will implement state statutes
RVP Regional Vice President (Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association representative designated to an area of the state)
SA Sexual Abuse (not recommended to use except in close conversation, i.e. to avoid using term in front of child due to confusion with “Substance Abuse”
SA State Attorney (State Attorney’s Office acts as CLS in some counties)
SA Substance Abuse
SAMH Substance Abuse Mental Health
SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAO State Attorney’s Office (acts as Childrens Legal Services – CLS – in some circuits in Florida)
SATP Sexual Abuse Treatment Program
SB Senate Bill (Federal or State legislation)
SBS Shaken Baby Syndrome
SCC Safe Children Coalition (former Pinellas Pasco CBC, still in Manatee, Sarasota)
SCC Self-contained Classroom
SCF Super Cool Foster (Facebook Support Group program of Go Foster!)
SCHIP State Children’s Health Insurance Program (under Title XXI of Social Security Act) federal funded plan administered by each state
SDC Special Day Class
SDE State Department of Education
SEA State Education Agency
SED Severely Emotionally Disturbed
SELPA Special Education Local Plan Area
SEN Substance Exposed Newborn
SERR “Special Education Rights and Responsibilities” book
SFFAPA South Florida Foster Adoptive Parent Association
SH Severely Handicapped
SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIPP Statewide Inpatient Psychiatrist Placement
SLD Specific Learning Disability
SLI Speech/Language Impaired
SLP Speech Language Pathologist
SNA Special Needs Adoption
SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (formerly food stamps)
SO Sheriffs Office (often preceeded by letters representing jurisdiction; i.e. PCSO could be Pinellas County Sheriffs Office … or Pasco, Polk, Putnam etc.)
SOC Systems of Care
SPED Special Education
SPOA Single Point of Access
SSA Social Security Administration
SSDI Social security disability insurance (or income) payments for disability
SSI Supplemental Security Income
SSN Social Security Number
SST Student Study Team
STAR California’s Standard Testing and Reporting
STFC Specialized Therapuetic Foster Care
STFH Specialized Therapuetic Foster Home
STGH Specialized therapeutic group home
TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
TBOSS Therapeutic Behavioral On Site Services
TCM Targeted Case Manager
TF-CBT Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
TFC Therapuetic Foster Care (sometimes STFC – adds “Specialized”)
TFH Therapeutic Foster Home (sometimes STFH – adds “Specialized”)
TGH Therapuetic Group Home
TIC Trauma Informed Care
Title IV-E Part of the Social Security Act; The major source of federal funds for child welfare, specifies eligibility and allowable use of funds
Title XIX, XIX Portion of the Social Security Act that establishes Medicaid as well as related funding and regularions
TPR Termination of Parental Rights
Tx Treatment
UA Urine Analysis / urninalysis (drug testing)
UCCJEA Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
UFC Unified Family Courts
UHS Unified Home Study
UMCH United Methodist Children’s Home; service provider or case management agency in many areas of state
USCIS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
USDA US Dept. of Agriculture
VC Victim Child
VI Visually Impaired
VPK Voluntary PreKindergarten Education (administered by local Early Learning Coalitions – ELC)
VPS Voluntary Protective Services
WIC Women, Infants & Children Program
WWK Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
XIX (Title XIX) Portion of the Social Security Act that establishes Medicaid as well as related funding and regularions
YFA Youth & Family Alternatives (CMO, provides case management in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties)
YLC Youth Law Center (started QPI, involved in many child welfare initiatives)

FSFAPA statement on the arrest of Dustin Gregory Todd in todler’s death

Posted August 4, 2017 by FloridaFAPA
 The death of any child is a tragedy. To learn that the death of 13-month-old Mackenzie Fewox was allegedly at the hands of her caregiver, Dustin Gregory Todd, is extremely troubling for all of us at the Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association.
In the coverage of Mr. Todd’s arrest, he is often incorrectly identified as a “foster parent.” This is a mischaracterization of his relationship to to the child. Mackenzie was placed in the home because of a relative relationship to another member of the household, this is known as a “relative placement.” Mr. Todd was not a licensed foster parent, the home was not a foster home.
In Florida, all foster parents must be licensed. The process to become a foster parent includes several weeks of specialized training; extensive local, state and federal background checks (including fingerprinting and reference checks); personal interviews; medical clearance; financial review and home safety inspection(s). To maintain licensure, foster parents must participate in continuing education and renew their medical clearance and home inspection(s) annually. (Background checks are renewed at regular intervals.)
The Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association is dedicated to the continuous improvement of the child welfare system. FSFAPA provides support and high-quality training for caregivers and advocates for families across the state.
* * * * * *
There is a need for foster homes in nearly every corner of the state. Do you have what it takes?

RESOURCE: State Parks Release FAQ on New Foster/Adoptive Family Pricing

Posted June 26, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

Our friends at Silver Spring State Park have pointed out that there is a new FAQ available on how the park service is going to apply the new legislation that gives discounts to Foster and Adoptive families.  We have posted this on our Resources Page (and will update as necessary) but here is the link.

Live Blog from FSFAPA Conference!

Posted June 16, 2017 by FloridaFAPA

To see videos of some of our sessions, visit

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.