News

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

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.

https://attendee.gototraining.com/3jw00/catalog/2750617808034076672?tz=America/New_York

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.


Center for Child Welfare Shares First-Hand ‘Normalcy’ Video

Posted December 9, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Visit the Center’s YouTube channel for more videos and “Just in Time Training.”

 


2016-10-15 General Membership Mtg

Posted October 21, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Membership Meeting Minutes

Mulberry, Fl.

October 15, 2016

Type of Meeting: Quarterly Membership Meeting

Meeting Called to Order by Harriett Wynn, President

A motion to approve the minutes from 9/08/2016 with changes if needed was made by Charles Parker.  Seconded by Dorothy Alvarez, with no further discussion a vote was called.  Motion Carried

The attendees were given a detailed layout of the new RVP’s organizational chart.

Chris Purche – discussed fire safety, explained the difference between types of extinguishers and the fires they extinguish. Monthly inspection is important. Smoke detectors over 10 years old should be replaced.

Sabrina Gonzales- talked about teens aging out of the system and the effect of life in foster care is affecting young adults.

At 11:30am all remaining ballots from members at the meeting were collected.  Curtis asked for two volunteers, Linda Gauntt and Ennis Clements volunteered.   Ballots were opened and sorted and counted by Linda and Ennis.  Curtis and Trudy separately tallied the counts three times to be sure all the numbers agreed.  The election results were announced to the general membership.

President Harriett Wynn and Treasurer Denise Sasiain.  The other nominees were thanked for participating in the election process.

Trish Allen – discussed Normalcy and how it impacts our children.

Jonathan – explained the partnership between All Pro Dads and DCF to recruit new foster parents and bring about awareness around the state.

A motion was made by Dorothy Alvarez to adjourn the meeting, it was seconded.     With no discussion a vote was called for. Motion Carried  

 

 

Respectfully Submitted by Curtis Byrd Secretary


Florida’s GAL Program Receives $250,000 Grant

Posted October 19, 2016 by FloridaFAPA
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[Tallahassee, Florida] – Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem office, announced today that the Florida Guardian ad Litem(GAL) Program will receive a 2016 National Court Appointed Special Advocate (National CASA) Association State Growth Grant in the amount of $250,000.
 
The purpose of the 2016 National CASA Association State Growth Grant is to support statewide initiatives to significantly increase the number of CASA/GAL volunteers who advocate for Florida’s abused and neglected children in the foster care system that have experienced abuse or neglect. National CASA’s vision is that every abused or neglected child is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home and this investment in Florida’s program helps to move closer to that vision. 
 
Alan Abromowitz

Alan Abromowitz

With the National CASA State Growth Grant, the Florida GAL Program will relaunch the “I am for the Child” campaign – statewide; in each of its twenty local programs; in every community; and in every city. “Over the past nine months we have worked very closely with the National CASA Association in preparing the Florida GAL Program for the relaunch of the “I am for the Child” campaign. The simple yet powerful statement – I am for the Child – supports the mission of the Florida GAL Program and informs everything we do. We look forward to more volunteers joining us in our efforts to be a voice for all of Florida’s abused and neglected children. We are grateful to National CASA for this incredible opportunity to share our mutual vision in a coordinated way across the state,” said Alan Abramowitz.

“Volunteer Florida congratulates Florida Guardian ad Litem for securing this grant to serve more at-risk young people in Florida,” said Chester W. Spellman, CEO of Volunteer Florida. “We look forward to working with GAL to encourage Floridians to volunteer with GAL and demonstrate that our state is ‘For the Child.’”
 
In 2011, National CASA launched the “I am for the Child” campaign with print, web and social media. Through materials and support from National CASA, states across the nation supported and promoted the “I am for the Child” campaign to grow their volunteer base and expand their services to more of America’s most vulnerable children. Florida, via its statewide program and its twenty local programs, also embraced the campaign that resulted in substantial volunteer growth. That growth has continued over the last four years. In fact, the Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program has over 10,000 volunteers giving a voice to Florida’s abused and neglected children.
 
“The Florida GAL Program’s track record of growth and plan to serve more children with the “I am for the Child” campaign made them a clear choice for National CASA’s largest grant award,” said National CASA Chief Executive Officer Tara Perry. “The continuous growth of our volunteer base is a critical element of National CASA’s goal to serve every child in foster care or court system who has experienced abuse or neglect nationwide. Florida is a strong partner in our work to ensure that every one of these children has a trained and caring volunteer advocating on his or her behalf rather than going it alone in the system.”
To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program or to become a volunteer visit www.GuardianadLitem.org or call 1-866-341-1GAL.

Election Results: Sasiain & Wynn Win

Posted October 15, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

FSFAPA’s election results are in:

Harriett Wynn will be returning as President

Denise Sasiain will be assuming the position of Treasurer

Congratulation to both


Hurricane Matthew Forces Mini Conference to be rescheduled

Posted October 5, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE UPCOMING STORM TO OUR AREA. THE STATE MINI CONFERENCE HAS BEEN REASCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 15, 2016. ALL DETAILS WILL REMAIN THE SAME, LOCATION, DAYCARE, HOTEL, ETC.

 

FSFAPA Quarterly Membership Meeting /Mini Conference


Segur named Eckerd Kids ‘Director of the Year’

Posted September 25, 2016 by FloridaFAPA
Laurallyn Segur

Laurallyn Segur

Laurallyn Segur, Director of Licensing for Eckerd Community Alternatives Pinellas-Pasco (Circuit 6 CBC) and the CBC Liaison for FSFAPA, was recently named Director of the Year at Eckerd Kids annual director’s retreat.

During the same retreat, ECA Pinellas-Pasco was also honored by being named Program of the Year.

Congratulations to Laurallyn on her much deserved award and to all of ECA for being named the Program of the Year.


Update from Step Up For Students

Posted September 1, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Below is the recent newsletter from Step Up For Students, who oversee the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (for low-income families with K-12 schoolchildren) and the Gardiner Scholarship (for families with PreK-12 schoolchildren with certain special needs) — among other things.

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Summer 2016 Quarterly Newsletter

Dear Partner,

The 2016-17 school year has officially kicked off and we’re excited to announce Step Up For Students is already having its biggest year yet. Enrollment isn’t even complete and we already have about 91,500 Florida Tax Credit students enrolled into the schools of their choice. Another 5,800 Gardiner Scholarships have been awarded, and the applications for both scholarships keep rolling in. We expect to have a combined total of more than 100,000 Florida students using one of Step Up’s scholarships this year. 

“We’re elated to be able to offer learning options to this many Florida students who need it most,” said Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill.

Each one of these scholars has an amazing story to tell. And many will be able to look back after they graduate from high school, like Lacey Nowling, who graduated in 2015 from Faith Christian Academy in Jay, Fla., and have wonderful tales to tell about college and beyond.

This wouldn’t be possible without our parents who want more for their children, the teachers who guide them, the donors who make it all possible, and our community’s support. Thanks to each and every one of you, we’re confident that the 2016-17 school year will be one of excitement and success. We look forward to sharing the journey with you, and once again, we thank you for your unwavering support.

Please enjoy the stories in this quarterly newsletter.

Fondly,

Your friends at Step Up For Students

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New Year Kicks Off
With the final Florida schools kicking off the 2016-17 school year in the coming days, Step Up For Students team members have been busily working on applications for both the Florida Tax Credit (income-based) scholarship and the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs.

For the income-based scholarship, Step Up expects to have more than 92,000 students enrolled for the new year, and another several thousand more using the Gardiner to customize their learning.

Click here to learn more.

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Lawsuit Dismissed
A unanimous three-judge panel dismissed a lawsuit challenging the nation’s largest private school choice program on August 16.

The First District Court of Appeal ruled the statewide teachers union and other groups did not have legal standing to challenge Florida tax credit scholarships because they “failed to allege any concrete harm whatsoever” caused by the program, which is expected to provide scholarships to more than 90,000 low-income children in the coming school year.

Click here for additional court ruling details.

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Student Spotlight
As early as sixth grade, Lacey Nowling knew her love for children was calling her to become a pediatrician.

Living in the tiny town of Jay, Fla., in the far northwestern reaches of the panhandle, she had a clear vision of her future.

But certainty turned to doubt as her school work got harder and harder in ninth grade.

“She had bad grades,” Lacey’s mom, Elizabeth Nowling, recalled. “She was running D’s and F’s most of the school year. She was just barely making it by the skin of her teeth.

Click here to learn more about Lacey.

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Southern Pledges $125 Million
Step Up For Students and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor, announced on August 10th that Southern Glazer’s has committed $125 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program for the 2016-17 school year.

Southern Glazer’s contribution – the largest in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program’s 15-year history – will fund more than 20,000 scholarships in the 2016-17 school year. This is Southern Glazer’s seventh consecutive year of participating in the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, bringing the company’s total to a record-breaking $315 million since 2010.

Click here to learn more about Southern Glazer’s contributions.

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FTC Students Make Gains
Florida’s tax credit scholarship program continues to enroll some of the most disadvantaged students from among the state’s lowest-performing public schools, according to the latest evaluation of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. After they receive scholarships and enroll in private schools, they keep academic pace with all students nationally, based on their standardized test results.

The report is the eighth annual evaluation of the test score progress, and the second conducted by researchers at the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University. Researchers examined the reading and math scores of 34,469 students in 1,285 private schools during the 2014-15 school year. Scholarship students in grades 3-10 have been required to take a state-approved nationally norm-referenced since 2006.

Click here to learn more.

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Coming Soon…
This year is the 15th anniversary of the creation of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship.
Please watch for details on how you can join in the celebration.

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Would you like Step Up fliers?

If you would like to have fliers mailed to you, please contact Melissa or Stephanie. Fliers are free of charge, are two-sided (English/Spanish) and provide scholarship information, eligibility requirements and how to apply for both the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (for low-income families with K-12 schoolchildren) and the Gardiner Scholarship (for families with PreK-12 schoolchildren with certain special needs).

 

Thank you for sharing information on our two scholarship programs with the families you serve.

Melissa Jaramillo
Community Outreach Manager
(904) 595-6814
mjaramillo@SUFS.org
Stephanie Love
Community Outreach Manager
(904) 352-2250
slove@SUFS.org

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Thank you for reading
Step Up For Students | Website | Blog
STAY CONNECTED:
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A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION (CH-14609) AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR ON THEIR WEBSITE WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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Duffles4Kids Update

Posted August 19, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Hello Duffels4Kids friends!

We can’t believe that it’s already August because it seems as if just yesterday it was May! Where did the summer go?

As we get ready to usher in a new season — and school year — we wanted to take a moment of your time to recap our awesome summer.

Duffels4Kids Walk
We held a very successful Duffels4Kids Walk in Jacksonville on May 21. This would not have been possible without the great support from our sponsors (such as Family Support Services of North Florida), individual donors and our walkers. We welcomed almost 300 attendees to the Jacksonville Zoo to “walk for the kids.” Check out the website at www.duffels4kids.org to see the logos of our sponsors and you can also view photos from the walk HERE.

Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association Conference
On June 11, Duffels4Kids distributed 129 duffels and more than 100 pajamas to foster parents attending FSFAPA’s annual conference in Orlando. We love having a table at events catered to foster kids and foster parents because everyone can see actual results of supporting a program like ours. (By the way, we sold out of our amazing handmade bracelets supporting kids in foster care!) We had more requests than duffels during the conference but as of today, all requests have been processed and duffels were shipped directly to the children throughout the state.


Foster Youth Graduation Present
In early June, Duffels4Kids provided large wheeled duffels to 80 foster youth graduating in Miami-Dade County. Each duffel included a spiral-bound Foster Care Transition Toolkit, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Education to help foster youth succeed beyond high school graduation. Duffels4Kids will provide additional support to those youth entering college for the first time, gifting them with care packages and other items as needed.

Medtronic Philanthropy Event
Duffels4Kids was awarded $20,000 to facilitate a philanthropy project for Medtronic and on June 14, Medtronic employees stuffed 500 duffels for children in foster care at the Hilton Diplomat in Hollywood. Each volunteer wrote an encouraging note for the kids — a small gesture that will surely bring big smiles to the recipients. View our photos from this event HERE.

School Backpacks
We secured 200 backpacks for organizations hosting back-to-school giveaways for August. Helping K-12 students start school on the right foot is a big priority for us too!Florida Department of Children & Families Distribution
On August 5, we distributed 200 duffels to the Jacksonville office of DCF. Investigators were at the office to pick up the duffels, which they will have on hand to give when a child is removed from his/her home. Our goal: #NoMoreTrashBags for foster kids transitioning from home to home.

So there’s our summer in a nutshell (as always you can check our blog for more details on each event). What’s planned for the next four months? Celebrations4Kids (birthday parties for teens in group homes), more duffel distributions and a holiday partnership with Biaggi Luggage! Stay tuned as we strive to change the culture of foster care, one duffel at a time.
Warm regards,
T. LaShaun Wallace

Recognition

Family Support Services of North Florida

A HUGE thanks goes to our lead sponsor for the 2016 walk: Family Support Services of North Florida. FSS was very supportive of our efforts to host the walk in Jacksonville and their staff worked tirelessly to make this year’s walk a success. Lee Kaywork (CEO of FSS) and his family also participated in the walk with us, showing the community that foster kids are a priority from the top to bottom in his organization. Thank you FSS for believing in our vision!

Youth Volunteers

Duffels4Kids has several events throughout the year where volunteers are heavily needed. We are proud of our youth volunteers who step in to help their peers in foster care. They are proving that they are ready to make the world a better place.

Copyright © 2016 Duffels4Kids, All rights reserved.

 


August is Child Safety Awareness Month

Posted August 5, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

RELEASE FROM DCF & DHSMV

Children are precious cargo – motorists must take responsibility to ensure children arrive alive

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This month, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is reminding motorists to focus on child safety in vehicles as well as on and around Florida roads. DHSMV is partnering with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Health, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to recognize August 2016 as Child Safety Awareness Month.

“Children are our most precious cargo and it’s critical for all motorists to take extra caution when a child is in or around a motor vehicle, even in your own driveway,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “In the heat of the Florida summer, when more children will be out on the road preparing for the start of school, it is very important to remember that whether driving through a school zone or taking a family trip, motorists must do everything possible to ensure our children arrive alive.”

Throughout the month of August, the department will be educating the public regarding all aspects of child safety on Florida roads, including: occupant protection and proper seat restraints, not leaving children in hot cars and safety in and around school zones and school buses. Preliminarily in 2015, there were 66,091 crashes in Florida involving children under the age of 18, resulting in 25,992 injuries and 149 fatalities, a 25 percent increase in fatalities from 2013.

DHSMV data shows the following:

Crashes involving children <18
2013 – 56, 084
2014 – 60,659
2015* – 66,091

Injuries involving children <18
2013 – 22,578
2014 – 23,949
2015* – 25,992

Fatalities involving children <18
2013 – 120
2014 – 121
2015* – 149
*Source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles preliminary data as of June 13, 2016.

“It is critically important to ensure the safety of our children in vehicles as they travel our state’s roadways. That means properly restraining children according to their age, size and weight,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). “FHP encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle up, including passengers in the back seat. Remember, as the caregivers for these young lives, it’s your responsibility to ensure they are safe.”

Preliminary numbers show that in 2015, 1,165 children were injured wearing no safety restraint in a vehicle and law enforcement issued more than 21,000 citations to motorists for not properly securing children in a vehicle. Florida law requires that all drivers and all passengers under the age of 18 wear a safety belt.

More than 200 children under the age of six were injured in crashes not wearing any type of seat restraint. FHP has several members that are car seat certified who can help identify the best child seat to fit a child, can ensure the seat is properly fitted in a car and can check that the seat is being used correctly every time. Starting Friday, August 5, FHP will begin offering free car seat checks and installations for motorists who bring their current car seat to local FHP Troop stations on the first Friday of every month. A full list of locations and contacts to make an appointment can be found on the department website.

The department and its partners are also reminding motorists to never leave a child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle. It is extremely hot, especially during the Florida summer, and leaving a child in a car can result in the child’s injury or death.
“We are proud to partner with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Child Safety Awareness Month as many child injuries and deaths reported to the department are preventable through education and awareness,” said Florida DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. “This campaign represents one of the most effective ways to protect children, at the community level with neighbors sharing information and looking out for each other.”

“Student safety is our top priority,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. “As the new school year approaches, it is especially important that we do everything we can to keep children safe, whether they are walking to school, while at the bus stop or riding the school bus. The Department of Education is proud to partner with DHSMV to promote Child Safety Awareness Month.”

State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip said, “Heat-related tragedies are entirely preventable, and during these summer months when our vehicles trap extreme amounts of heat, I encourage families in Florida to always check on infants and children to ensure they aren’t left behind or at risk of these situations.”

“One of the goals of the Florida Sheriffs Association is to protect Florida’s future through programs focused on the safety of the youth in our state,” said Sheriff Jerry L. Demings, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “On behalf of our Florida Sheriffs, I fully endorse and support the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s Child Safety Awareness campaign this August.”

“Every single thing we can do to emphasize child safety to Floridians is critical. Too often, we get calls about tragedies that could be prevented with better awareness,” said Winter Park Police Chief Brett Railey, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Anyone driving with a child in their vehicle should always make sure the child is safely restrained and never – NEVER – leave a child unattended in a vehicle.”

“FCAAP is looking forward to working with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to help protect children by raising awareness about the proper use of child safety restraints,” said Tommy Schechtmen, President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

DHSMV offers additional safety tips for parents and all motorists to keep kids safe in and around vehicles:

  • Children under age four must be in a car seat and as of January 1, 2015, children age four and five must be in a car seat or booster seat. Drivers will be charged if any passenger under 18 is not properly buckled in.
  • Read the car seat’s instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle’s owner manual when you install a car seat. Visit a local FHP station to ask a car-seat certified trooper to help install your seat.
  • In passenger vehicles, children under the age of 13 should be secured in the rear seat; airbags can injure or kill young children in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag.
  • Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots. Always watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
  • Never sit on the roadway or the curb while waiting for the school bus; wait in a safe place away from the road.
  • Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction. Be especially careful when children are present in school zones and residential areas.
  • Be alert while backing up and designate safe play areas away from vehicles.

Visit the DHSMV’s website https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/vehicle-and-child-safety/child-safety/ for more information and use the hashtag #ChildSafetyFL throughout the month to add and share important child safety information.


New DCF Policy Memo: Very Important Information for Foster Parents

Posted July 30, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

This covers the that  were previously the “memos” concerning Normalcy, Babysitting & social media.

CFOP Memo – Pdf

 

This memo will go into effect on July 25, 2016


Child Welfare in the News

Posted July 26, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Child Welfare in the News

AR: Volunteers sought to aid child welfare 
The Sentinel-Record – July 25, 2016
About 40 percent of children in Arkansas’ child welfare system don’t receive the assistance they need, according to Justin Buck, executive director of Garland County Court Appointed Special Advocates.
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jul/25/volunteers-sought-to-aid-child-welfare-/?f=news-arkansas

AZ: Restored KidsCare Program Taking Applications (Includes audio)
Public News Service – July 26, 2016
The reinstated KidsCare program provides health insurance at low or no cost to as many as 30,000 Arizona children.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2016-07-26/childrens-issues/az/a53206-1

CA: The death of a grandchild and how Child Protective Services restricts vital information (Opinion)
Sacramento Bee – July 24, 2016
This journey, from the devastation of learning about the death of my grandson to outrage over the recent effort by the California Department of Social Services to restrict the ability of the public to have access to important information, began in January 1999.
http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article91298532.html

CA: ‘This is a safe haven’: Stockton group home for LGBT foster youth is Valley’s first
Recordnet.com – July 23, 2016
“My mom said she didn’t want me living with her anymore,” said the girl, who cannot be identified publicly because she is a juvenile and is in the foster-care system. “She didn’t want me to live there anymore because I’m 17 and she’s tired of taking care of me. So I’m here.” But the girl’s story, as wrenching as it is, carries with it an extra layer of complexity. Someday, the girl said last week, she wants to be a man. Someday she plans to transition. So when it came time to find the right group home, the task was especially challenging.
http://www.recordnet.com/news/20160723/this-is-safe-haven-stockton-group-home-for-lgbt-foster-youth-is-valleys-first?rssfeed=true

CA: New Monterey County director of child welfare: conversation has to change
Monterey Herald – July 23, 2016
There are several challenges facing the department of child welfare in Monterey County, including difficulty filling vacant social worker positions and finding families who want to become foster parents. Lori Medina, who recently took over as director of the Family and Children’s Services Branch of the Monterey County Department of Social Services, wants to change the way the department is perceived besides addressing those issues.
http://www.montereyherald.com/social-affairs/20160723/new-monterey-county-director-of-child-welfare-conversation-has-to-change

FL: Heroin’s toll seen as rolls of foster children grow
News Chief – July 23, 2016
An unprecedented number of children in Manatee County are being removed from their homes by the Department of Children and Families, largely because of the spike in heroin- and opiate-related abuse in the area.
http://www.newschief.com/article/20160723/NEWS/160729775/-1/news300?Title=Heroin-s-toll-seen-as-rolls-of-foster-children-grow

GA: After years of cutbacks, state of Georgia hiring again
Atlanta Journal And Constitution – July 25, 2016
Agency officials say the new staffers are designed to help cut down on long lines at driver’s license offices, to reduce backlogs at crime labs, to cut caseloads for overworked child protective services staffers, to give the state the manpower to investigate police shootings, to provide more teachers in schools with growing enrollment, and to improve the system of signing up Georgians for government benefits.
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/after-years-of-cutbacks-state-of-georgia-hiring-ag/nr4kT/

IN: Background checks weed out bad teachers
Lafayette Journal Courier Online – July 23, 2016
When a background check company conducted rechecks for an Indiana school with about 1,000 employees, more than 40 teachers had criminal histories, including four with drug or theft felonies. Also: New law requires deeper background checks for new school hires: http://www.tribstar.com/news/local_news/new-law-requires-deeper-background-checks-for-new-school-hires/article_aae8b41e-b32a-5551-9236-75d8f941cbe5.html
http://www.jconline.com/story/news/education/2016/07/23/background-checks-weed-out-bad-teachers/86599558/

KS: Contractor has begun review after sexual harassment lawsuit
Associated Press – July 25, 2016
A Kansas foster care and family preservation contractor said it has begun an internal review of allegations raised in a federal lawsuit that one of its caseworkers sexually harassed and coerced a mother seeking to regain custody of her children.
http://ksnt.com/2016/07/25/kansas-contractor-has-begun-review-after-sexual-harassment-lawsuit/

KY: We should protect foster kids’ religious freedom (Opinion)
Lexington Herald-Leader – July 25, 2016
The Bevin administration is re-embroiling the state in a court fight that was triggered 18 years ago when Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children fired an employee because she posed with her lesbian partner in a photo exhibit at the state fair. The employee’s discrimination complaint was dismissed early on. But the state, the Baptist-supported agency that was renamed Sunrise Children’s Services and three Kentucky taxpayer plaintiffs have been arguing ever since in federal court about how to safeguard children in taxpayer-supported foster care from religious coercion and proselytizing.
http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/editorials/article91798782.html

MD: Building Trust and Support for Homeless Youth in OST Programs
Youth Today – July 25, 2016
At the after-school coaching programs run by the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative, the staff never shines a spotlight on the fact that many of their participants are homeless. Often the moment comes when the participants draw their chairs into a circle after a day of trust-building exercises. They talk about experiencing homeless, the foster care system or deep poverty.
http://youthtoday.org/2016/07/building-trust-and-support-for-homeless-youth-in-ost-programs/

MI: The Orphanage: Part 1 – The Past (Includes video)
TV 6 – July 25, 2016
Just over a hundred years ago, the Holy Family Orphanage opened its doors to Upper Michigan children, and for roughly 50 years, 15 nuns looked after about 150 children, at any given time.
http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/content/news/The-Orphanage—Part-1-The-Past-388196152.html

OR: Social Workers Say What It’s Like To Deal With Foster Kids Living In The Office 
Oregon Public Broadcasting – July 25, 2016
“Sometimes we’ll have babies that will come in, and you know, luckily there are a lot of people who want to hold babies. But if you have a super fussy baby it makes it hard for everybody to work. Because there’s babies crying or toddlers crying. Or they’re trying to run away and do things that really aren’t safe,” she said.
http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-foster-care-social-workers-in-office/

US: Bogus ‘sex offender’ labels are ruining lives (Opinion)
New York Post – July 25, 2016
The US Bureau of Justice reports: “The single age with the greatest number of offenders from the perspective of law enforcement was age 14.”
http://nypost.com/2016/07/25/bogus-sex-offender-labels-are-ruining-lives/

US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts, #1: Federal Runaway Prevention Regulations in Foster Home Licensing 
Chronicle of Social Change – July 25, 2016
Washington wants to amend a recently signed federal law to “restrict the renewal of a foster home license” for any placement from which multiple youth have been displaced due to “alleged safety concerns and maltreatment by a foster parent.” Her hope is that this would cut down the number of youth who run away from foster care placements every year.
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/foster-youth-interns/child-welfare-ideas-experts-1/19682

US: ProPublica Exposes Racial Bias in Predictive Analytics
Chronicle of Social Change – July 25, 2016
Although these measures were created with the best of intentions, I am concerned that they inadvertently undermine our efforts to ensure individualized and equal justice. They may exacerbate unwarranted and unjust disparities that are already far too common in our criminal justice system and in our society. The fad that so concerned Holder is, of course, predictive analytics; the same fad spreading through child welfare. Propublica article: Machine Bias: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks: https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/predictive-analytics/propublica-exposes-racial-bias-predictive-analytics/19783

INTERNATIONAL

Europe: ‘Deplorable’ child migrant response raises trafficking risk: report
Thomson Reuters Foundation – July 25, 2016
Children who flee poverty and war zones without their parents are falling prey to traffickers and smugglers once they arrive in Europe because of a disjointed response by governments, a group of British parliamentarians said on Tuesday.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/europes-deplorable-child-migrant-response-raises-trafficking-risk-010034292.html?ref=gs

Romania: More than 100 institutionalised children, victims of abuses and exploitation in 2015
Nine O’Clock – July 25, 2016
“According to the information received from the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption (ANPDCA), 101 cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation were registered in childcare institutions in 2015, based on the data sent by the General Directorates for Social Care and Child Protection (DGASPCs),” the Labour Ministry stated for Mediafax.
http://www.nineoclock.ro/more-than-100-institutionalised-children-victims-of-abuses-and-exploitation-in-2015/

United Kingdom: Rise in reports of sex crimes on youngsters with 143 more cases reported compared to the previous year
Basildon Recorder – July 26, 2016
Sex crimes against children are on the rise in Essex, according to new crime statistics released last week. There were 143 more cases reported to police in the last year compared with 2014-2015.
http://www.basildonrecorder.co.uk/news/14641309.Rise_in_reports_of_sex_crimes_on_youngsters_with_143_more_cases_reported_compared_to_the_previous_year/?ref=rss


2016-06-11 General Membership Mtg

Posted July 16, 2016 by FloridaFAPA

Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association, Inc.

Quarterly Membership Meeting, Orlando, Fl.

Saturday, June 8, 2016

 

The Quarterly Membership Meeting of FSFAPA was called to order at 7:30 am by Harriett Wynn, President.

A motion was made by Orlando Avila to accept the minutes as corrected, seconded by Thomas Croom.  Motion passed

 

Open business

Harriett introduced Lynda Thompson, Bylaws Chair

Lynda discussed the changes to the Bylaws and fielded any questions from the floor.  After discussion on the Bylaws, Lynda asked everyone to mark their green voting card Yes or No to approve the Bylaws.  Once all green voting cards were collected they were counted.  The final vote was 61 Yes and 0 No, so the changes to the Bylaws passed.

Harriett then yielded the floor to Orlando Avila, who was standing in for Curtis Byrd, Nomination Chair.

Orlando then opened the floor for nominations and announced the candidates previously submitted. President: Harriett Wynn, and Christopher Johnson; Treasurer: Denise Sasiain, and Paul Vernon. Orlando asked for nominations from the floor.  If no further nominations are brought forward nominations will be closed at the end of the Quarterly Membership Meeting.

Harriett then introduced Trudy Petkovich, Executive Director

Trudy announced the upcoming October Mini Conference & Quarterly Meeting

 

T.L.C. Association, Inc will be hosting the

Quarterly Membership Meeting & Mini Conference

October 8, 2016 at

Mulberry Christian Academy Church of God

200 Dean St.

Mulberry, 33860 

Limited Childcare 0-12 cost $5.00 per child

Conference will start at 9:00am to 4:00pm. 

Lunch will be served.

The Hotel will be announced later.

Lori Decker will be handling registration,

Phone 813-892-3016 or email:  loriadeckertlc@gmail.com

Harriett and Gay Frizzell then presented the 2016 Award Winners:

Caring Heart Award/Foster – Marcia and Stephens Croom

Dee Wilson/Adoption – Reyna Alvarez

Partner in Caring – Holly Torres

Leadership through Example – Eckerd Community Alternatives/Pasco & Pinellas Counties

Harriett thanked everyone for coming.

Motion to adjourn made by Thomas Croom and seconded by Stephen Rollo, the motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 am.

Respectfully submitted for approval by FSFAPA Secretary Curtis Byrd