General Membership Quarterly Meeting

June 19, 2015, 3:30 PM

Orlando Hilton (FSFAPA Annual Education Conference)

Submitted for approval by FSFAPA Secretary Charles Parker.

Harriet started the meeting at 3:35 with words of welcome.

Introduction board members present: Harriett Wynn (President), Charles Parker (Secretary), Chris Johnson (Executive VP), Orlando Avila (Director of Programs), Maria Bond (Treasurer), Trudy Petkovich (Executive Director), Victoria Herrin (Band Manager), Wendy Vernon (Advocacy), Lynda Thompson (Parliamentarian/Bylaws/Conference Chair), Lillie Blackshear (RVP), Dorothy Alvarez (RVP), Thomas Croom (RVP), Kara Elliot-Jordan (RVP), Keith Best (RVP), Melanie Stimmell (RVP), Trish Allen (Adoptions), Harry Dubia (Membership), Laurallyn Segur (CBC Advisor), Amanda Williams (NexGen Teens), Gay Frizzell (QPI Advisor), David Brown (Nominations), Rose Stayduhar (FAST Coordinator)

Charles announced that the minutes from the previous GM Meeting had been put on the tables prior to the meeting and asked if anyone had any edits. Motion to accept the minutes was made by Tamara Harry from the floor and Chris Johnson seconded. Vote passed with no opposition or voiced abstaining votes.

Harriet announced that there would be a duffels distribution after the RVP meetings on Saturday in the same room that the GM Meeting was taking place.

Charles then retook the stage and called Nominations Chair David Brown up. Charles shared that there were three Executive Board positions that were due for an election this year at the next (Fall) General Membership Meeting (Secretary, Director of Programs and EVP). David then shared that all three current occupants of those positions had been nominated to continue and the floor was opened to additional nominations for each of the three positions and none were heard. Nominations closed. Charles also shared that there had been some issues with the transition and record keeping when his predecessor left the secretary position for health reasons, and that there was some confusion as to which RVP positions were supposed to be up for election this year. He shared that the executive board and full board had decided to put the entire slate up for election at this time so that the membership had the opportunity to vote for the people in these positions. None of the current RVPs are in their positions because of a contested election, and the majority are in the position by appointment. Charles also shared that due to the difficulty of finding RVPs, the board has expressed a desire to update the bylaws to make the RVP postions appointed and follow the same terms as the sitting president. David opened the floor for nominations and there was one for Suncoast RVP (Melissa Schol) and NE RVP (Christy Connor)

Harriet made announcements about the security for NexGen and Tweens – they need to be wearing the correct shirts or badges or they cannot come in.

There were nominations from the floor for the prospective location for our Fall Regional Mini-Conference and General Membership meeting; locations included Innisbrook (Palm Harbor), Daytona, Jacksonville, Gainesville, St. Pete, Panhandle and Tampa.

Chris Johnson shared that FSFAPA has become a full member of the Florida Coalition for Children. We took this step to gain more of an equal standing with the CBCs and CMAs that make up FCC. We want to be seen as equal partners.

Charles and Thomas Croom then explained the FSFAPA legislative focus for the 2016 session: Adoption Intervention. There has been an increase statewide of parents using this legislation as a last-ditch power-grab to exert control just prior to TPR, and we also believe that there are cases of less-ethical adoption agencies/attorneys soliciting families to exercise this option in ways the legislation did not intend. FSFAPA is not against cases where the parents quickly utilize this process and the child avoids or minimizes their time in foster care, but we are against it being used well after the child has bonded with other caregivers. FSFAPA is working with the GAL office and DCF to support efforts to have the “best interest” language from Chapter 39 inserted into this legislation (to make it uniform) and to explore a sliding scale that weighs the parent’s wishes more heavily early in the process, and the child’s rights and best interests more heavily after 60 or 90 days. FSFAPA will begin collecting first hand accounts of AI stories to support the effort later this year.

Motion to adjourn was heard at 4:25 p.m. and was seconded by many. No opposition was heard.