FSFAPA Board Meeting
April 13, 2015-8:30 pm
Submitted for approval by FSFAPA RVP Kara Elliott-Jordan
Meeting started by 8:35
Following were in attendance: Harriet Wynn (President), Chris Johnson (Exec VP), Kara Elliott-Jordan (RVP), Thomas Croom (RVP), Keith Best (VP), Melanie Stimmell (RVP), Lillie Blackshear (RVP), Dorothy Alvarez (RVP), Trish Allen (Adoptions), Wendy Vernon (Advocacy), Coleen LaCosta (FAST Coordinator, Kinship), Harry Dubia (Membership), Kristi Putnam (DCF Advisor), Gay Frizzel (QPI Advisor), Maria Bond (Treasurer), David Brown (Legislative Advisor), and Trudy Petkovich (Executive Director)
Not in Attendance: Orlando Avila (Director of Programs), Charles Parker (Secretary), Lynda Thompson (Parliamentarian/Bylaws/Conference Chair), Laurallyn Segur (CBC Advisor), Carrie Toy (DCF Advisor), Amanda Williams (Nex Gen/IL), Victoria Herrin (Band Manager)
Minutes from March 30 Conference call were reviewed. Motion to accept by Chris Johnson, seconded by Thomas Croom. Motion passed, minutes approved.
FLORIDA COALITION FOR CHILDREN (FCC ) MEETING SUMMARY:
• Chris provided an FCC update.
• FSFAPA is now a member of the FCC, which primarily represents CBCs in legislative matters.
• Trudy is participating on the FCC weekly phone call on Monday mornings.
• Kurt Kelly met with FSFAPA Executive Board members on Monday, April 13.
o discussed increasing FSFAPA visibility and presence in Tallahassee and offered help with signage and connecting FSFAPA board to legislators. Kurt was introduced to Thomas (board member residing in Tallahassee).
o Discussed recruitment and FSFAPA members noted retention as a critical to recruitment and was able to share our desire and concerns related to retaining quality foster parents
o Kurt shared ideas for additional training for teens and foster parents of teens—specifically equipping foster parents to help prepare teens for life as an adult
o Kurt welcomes our input and our suggestions for areas the FCC can assist in our mission
o Provided space in the FCC building for FSFAPA use whenever we are in Tallahassee
• Following Chris’s update, there was general discussion regarding the frequency of FCC conference calls and Harriet expressed her satisfaction that FSFAPA is being heard as a partner in the process.
QPI COLLABORATION (David Brown)
• Current focus is on supporting teens and recruiting homes for teens
• NexGen band is a tremendous resource and part of a strategic plan to inform, educate, and recruit homes for teens across the state by traveling to different CBC’s to perform and share their stories
• At Florida Youth Leadership Academy trip this weekend, participants will be recorded as part of a public speaking assignment on what foster parents of teens should know. Videos will be packaged and sent to CBCs essentially as a marketing tool to assist in recruitment of appropriate homes
• Beyond the summer: discussion will need to take place regarding the next steps after summer tour and the June conference. How will we move the process forward for our teens in care?
TREASURER REPORT (Maria Bond)
• Discussed/reviewed expense forms for preapproved expenses. Sample form provided for everyone in attendance. Identical to forms used by DCF staff. Mapquest with route must be attached to form. Authorization to incur travel form is for out of state travel and must be submitted to Harriet for preapproval
• Maria will send travel policy via email to Board
• She encouraged board members to submit travel forms to her email under high importance so that checks can be cut in a timely fashion
• Chris mentioned that the finance committee reviewed travel procedures and per diem and would like the board to return to filling out travel forms individually and removing that burden of responsibility from the Treasurer (Maria has been completing this for everyone)
QPI ADVISOR REPORT (Gay Frizzel)
• Reiterated what David shared
DCF ADVISOR REPORT (Kristi Putnam)
• Also voiced support for David’s comments regarding summer tour/recruitment of teen homes. Expressed DCF’s excitement for the potential of this new venture
CHILDREN’S WEEK (Lillie Blackshear)
• Meet at the Capitol for set up at 7 am, breakfast served at 8:30, lunch served at 1230
• NexGen Band plays at 10
• Keith has items for the FSFAPA table
• General membership meeting will be immediately following the luncheon in the same area
• There is no rain plan
• There are several families with appointments with legislators, they have been provided talking points
• Harriet provided additional instructions for the morning
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE (Thomas Croom)
• Provided update on specific bills on the calendar. Recommended voicing support HB 7013 which is expected to pass in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon
ADOPTION INTERVENTION BILL (Thomas Croom)
• Discussion was previously generated via email about judges allowing a long running dependency case to move to a private adoption (moving a child from a long term foster placement and prospective adoptive parents to a family selected by the adoption agency). Board members voiced near unanimous support of moving to update current legislation to prevent further trauma to children in care, and eliminate “baby brokering”
• There was a bill written by GAL and CLS, but it did not have a sponsor this legislative session
• Thomas summarized the FSFAPA calendar of events and legislative calendar of events; recommended that we have a bill that is supported NLT that Dec 2015—PRIOR to 2016 session beginning
• FSFAPA’s task is to begin NOW to collect stories from families, speak to local FAPA groups. Our focus this summer should be about collecting data and needs to be our primary focus. Thomas and Charles are working on a survey connected to our website.
• Thomas recommended we tread quietly—if attorneys that currently profit from legislation as its written become aware of our efforts, this could be shut down before we get to session.
• Thomas fielded questions about the internet survey and data collection—verified we’re seeking qualitative data and information regarding the processes involved. Specific names of families/children are not necessary
• There was general discussion about which regions in the state are seeing this trend
• General discussion about what happens to the adoption stipend if a single adoptive parent passes away (the stipend ceases). Despite additional strong feelings about this on the board, Thomas recommended that we focus on one, non-fiscal goal for the next legislative session
• Thomas clarified the distinction between lobbying and providing education and our role as a 501c3. Kristi and Gay supported FSFAPA’s role as an educator. All 3 assured the rest of the board we are within legal boundaries by collecting information and educating are families, as well as speaking to legislators
Motion by Colleen to close meeting. Doroty seconded.
Meeting adjourned at 9:44