The latest news about Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association:
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-213-6627.
Below you will find a link to a survey. We have been ask to forward this to our members. Please read and if interested please take the survey.
Graham Perkovich of Sunshine Health shared that they are holding Trauma Informed Care (TIC) online trainings. The trainings are live webinars in the evenings, (register on the links below) and then enjoy some great evening trainings! All trainings are at no cost, and all participants will receive a certificate of attendance, within 5 business days.
Trauma Informed Care (TIC) training dates:
TIC part 2 January 31, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time
TIC part 3 February 13, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time
TIC part 4 February 27, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time
TIC part 5 March 13, 2017 from 7:00 PM- 8:30 Eastern Time
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!
(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.
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…
- 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.
- 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”).
- Contact Legislators to Schedule Meetings!
Click here to learn more about scheduling meetings with your local representatives.
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 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.
Membership Meeting Minutes
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
[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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Summer 2016 Quarterly Newsletter
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.
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.
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.
T. LaShaun Wallace
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!
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.
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.
This covers the that were previously the “memos” concerning Normalcy, Babysitting & social media.