Election Results: New Secretary

Christina Morris won the FloridaFAPA election for Secretary, beating incumbent Curtis Byrd. Her term will begin Jan. 1. (Election was held at the November Quarterly Meeting/Mini Conference, with mail-in ballots and in-person ballots collected.)

Nominations for FloridaFAPA Board now being accepted (CLOSED)

*** NOMINATIONS HAVE CLOSED *** Nominations Received:Secretary: Curtis Byrd & Christine MorrisInternal VP: Orlando Avila *** NOMINATIONS HAVE CLOSED *** The positions of Secretary and Internal Vice President are up for election this year. The position requirements and descriptions are below (and on the downloadable nomination form.) Nomination Process 2019 Responsibilities of all members of the Board of Directors Policy Statement: • Attend all meetings, face to face or conference call of the Board unless previously excused by the President.• Participate in the planning, facilitation and implementation of all events supported by FloridaFAPA.• The Board of Directors is empowered to act for the organization as a whole.• The Board cannot delegate its decision-making authority to a portion of the membership.• Each member of the Executive Board will be delegated specific duties to oversee and support• Interprets and enforces the provisions of the bylaws as well as the Policy and Procedure Manual.• Promote by attitude and action, needed to bring about changes and improvements in the child welfare system of care.• Provide a vehicle for communication between Florida FAPA members, the Community Based Care agencies, Department of Children and Families and other partners in the system of care in Florida.• Act as an information center and research body regarding matters of resources, finances, education and legislation for our members and partners statewide. New board members participate in orientation and training, so they can represent and govern the organization. Training sessions shall be held at least annually. A Board leadership manual shall be provided to new board members and updated annually for the full board. At a minimum, the manual and orientation shall include the following: • Articles of Incorporation• Bylaws• Policy Manual• Annual Budget• Annual Calendar• Organizational Chart• Roster of Volunteer Leaders and Staff• Recent Minutes Duties of the Secretary • Record the minutes of all Florida FAPA meetings (i.e. specifically Executive Board Meetings, Board of Director Meetings, Membership and President Council meetings and other meetings as requested)• Draft meetings within 10 working days of the meetings and send to all board members• Maintain current and accurate copies of all organizational documents (i.e. minutes, by laws, policies and procedures, treasurer reports, etc.)• Send a calendar invite of the time and place of each meeting to each member of the board at least thirty days prior to meetings• Responsible for the publication of newsletters, membership, parliamentarian procedure, bylaws and electronic communication with the assistance of External VP, assigned Ambassadors and entire board• May oversee a CBC, DCF region and local FAPA contact. If assigned they will establish a relationship with DCF regional Administration, CBC CEO and FAPA board at least monthly. Duties of the Internal Vice President • Assume responsibilities of president in the absence of the president• Upon request help organize events as deemed necessary• Coordinate and oversee the duties of Ambassadors of Conferences, Board Education, Strategic Planning• May oversee a CBC, DCF region and local FAPA contact. If assigned they will establish a relationship with DCF regional Administration, CBC CEO and FAPA board at least monthly Nomination Form Instructions Eligible:• Nominations are made to the Nominations Chair prior to the June quarterly general membership meeting of FloridaFAPA. At this meeting nominations may also be made from the floor. Once the meeting is adjourned, nominations are closed.• For the nominations to be accepted, the nominees must be Partner members of FloridaFAPA for one year with a record of at least 50% attendance at Florida FAPA’s quarterly membership meetings, have served on a Florida FAPA committee for one year and/or the same household currently serving on the Board of Directors.• Must be a Partner member and dues paid by January 1st in order to be nominated. If the nominee is elected to the office of Florida FAPA President, they may not be president of any other local FAPA at the start of their term.• Within 30 days of accepting the nomination the candidate must present to the nomination chair a letter of recommendation from the CBC, copy of current foster care license or final judgment of permanency.• In case of a sole nominee, he/she can be elected by acclamation by the Board of Directors. Format:• Name of nominee contact information• Name of person doing the nominating (you may nominate yourself)• Reason for nominating this person. What to Include:• Within 30 days of accepting the nomination the candidate must present a letter from their agency stating they are a licensed foster or adoptive parent in good standing with their agency and are of high moral conduct. This letter will be required each time a candidate in nominated.• A personal biography Deadline:• Nominations are made to the Nominations Chair prior to the June quarterly general membership meeting of Florida FAPA. At this meeting nominations may also be made from the floor. Once the meeting is adjourned, nominations are closed

CHAMPS Seeks Foster Family Stories

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) is a partner in CHAMPS (children need amazing parents). CHAMPS is collecting stories for National Foster Parent Appreciation Day and we’re reaching out to ask for your help spreading the word. Please see below for more information and share with foster parents and people in or formerly in care.  Let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for your help with this project!   CHAMPS (children need amazing parents) is celebrating National Foster Parent Appreciation Day (May 31) by sharing stories from foster parents and people who have been in foster care. Selected stories will be shared on social media, on the CHAMPS website, and with policymakers. NACAC is a partner in CHAMPS, seeking to ensure foster parents’ voices are heard. Stories can be written (a short paragraph with a photo) or a short video (30-60 seconds, can be made with a phone).  Please submit by April 30. What kind of stories? Here are some ideas to get you started. If you’re a foster parent: ·  What’s one of the best things about being a foster parent? ·  Describe how you have made a difference in a child’s life. ·  Have you recommended foster parenting to others?  If so, what did you say was a reason to do it?   If you are or were in foster care: ·  What’s one example of something a foster parent did that helped you heal from prior trauma or hardship? ·  What’s an example of an important lesson or value you got from a foster parent? ·  What is something special about a foster parent you know? Would you like to thank a particular foster parent for something she or he did? ·  Being in foster care has a lot of challenges.  What is one thing a foster parent can do to help make it less difficult for young people in care?   How to submit a storyPlease submit using this Google form: https://forms.gle/npuwZC7FX6NqahzP6  What is CHAMPS? CHAMPS is a national campaign to ensure bright futures for kids in foster care by promoting the highest quality parenting. CHAMPS builds on research that shows loving, supportive families – whether birth, kin, foster or adoptive – are critical to the healthy development of all children. Leveraging this research, CHAMPS aims to spur policy reforms in 20 to 25 states over five years to ensure that foster parents are equipped with the training and support they need to be the best they can.  CHAMPS also aims to help improve the public’s understanding of foster parenting and create a more positive perception of foster parents. More information is available at:  www.fosteringchamps.org 

DCF Celebrates Foster Family Appreciation Week

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2019  Recognizing Community Partners and Families TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed the second week of February as Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week, observed on February 11-15, 2019, to celebrate the enduring and invaluable contributions foster families provide to children in their care. First Lady Casey DeSantis said, “Our state is blessed for the contribution of foster parents and the families they create. Whether a foster family is together for a short period of time or longer, the impact of the relationship is forever. As a mother, I am truly grateful for those who create a loving and nurturing environment for children and encourage all Floridians to find a way to help build and rebuild families in their own communities.”   “I applaud Florida’s foster families and every individual who plays a part in the fostering process as they help to change the life of a child in their community,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell. “It is difficult for us to imagine what a child must feel during such a difficult time, but a foster parent can change a child’s heart by providing the love, joy, and security they want and need.” Florida currently has 7,287 children who live with foster families. Foster parents provide a supportive, safe, and loving home to children who have been removed from their homes. Foster parents serve as role models, not only to the child, but also to biological parents. “Our foster parents play a vital role in the lives of the children we serve. They provide love and nurturing until we can place a child in a safe and permanent home,” said Florida Coalition for Children CEO Kurt Kelly. “It’s important that we honor them while also recognizing that we still have a critical need for more foster parents in our communities.” The positive partnerships DCF shares with parents, foster families, community-based care agencies, non-profit organizations, state agencies, and the courts are essential. Each one plays a valuable role that makes a solid foundation of resources for children in foster care and the families who support them.  There are 5,358 licensed foster parents in Florida who selflessly play a pivotal role in the lives of the most vulnerable children. During Foster Family Appreciation Week, join us in making a difference where it really matters and consider becoming a foster family to a child in your community. The need for foster families never ends. Please visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/service-programs/foster-care/.Media Contact: DCF Communications, (850) 717-4450 

Helpful links for navigating Insurance/Medicaid changes for 2019

Some helpful links about what is going on with Medicaid (collected and shared by Heather Rosenberg):Links you may find important or useful: 1. State Plan: http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/stateplan.shtml 2. Service Specific Handbooks: http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/review/specific_policy.shtml?fbclid=IwAR1lOHrBqeMsGuEkZJZBSk9fgT6hxLSdQBgNjPwFw0HlmFuTY1R-_pf5sjc 3. Model Contract and Child Welfare Specific: http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/review/specific_policy.shtml?fbclid=IwAR1arn56a5lSWKfa9mam3207I29zF5FKIpDeB5mH40MkjalxlJj2VUPHi7M o Sunshine Info. Page and Member Handbook: https://www.sunshinehealth.com/members/child-welfare-plan.html?fbclid=IwAR3mw6z5_PiHpYnyLfoi-FswVNuLFsqN5C-NljGu6PqdnOQmR96nCbDpw6I 4. AHCA Power Point – new contracts: https://www.sunshinehealth.com/members/child-welfare-plan.html?fbclid=IwAR1kC5At8nCKZ9APLTjuIDKnFMjGenIht6gsJ7BrOHjp-VQ_gqqd9LWzeTY 5. CBCIH website: http://www.cbcih.net/ 6. Medicaid Services:a. MMA Covered Services – all plans (Page 3): http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/medicaid/statewide_mc/pdf/Contracts/2018-08-01/MODEL_Attachment-I_2018-08-01.pdf?fbclid=IwAR01SG7QZVs1YiKjY2ZAeS-0r4M6kut3opVdgo5f6O-9PpCOODZB3VTBc2Ab. Expanded Benefits by plan (new contracts): http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/medicaid/statewide_mc/pdf/mma/EB_Chart_Revised_101618.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2gtkeFFo24_AmFVHIglDDNT9V0LTGCGWGT_GDE-owbwqZ5cND_gsy6dmY • Phase in by county: http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/medicaid/statewide_mc/pdf/mma/Expanded-Benefits_Program_Highlight_Final_101618.pdf?fbclid=IwAR32u6YATRgLD9AGcNm_L41kdThVGXDY51SfEOSpFZYeRbiLN5NjGPdpqrA c. In Lieu of Services: https://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/statewide_mc/pdf/mma/ILOS_Chart_101818.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3Yqt6whu-KPiwL_pJsTaXO738MBVHOAlqQT0jb4Z7BP1Y1dcgNhDmMwjE

Child Welfare Regional Trainings from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Click on the flyer for information on upcoming Child Welfare Regional Trainings from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV).  Each regional event includes a two hour evening training specifically for former, current, or future Foster Parents and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). The purpose of this training is to enhance both the understanding and response to domestic violence as it relates to survivors and children of survivors. This training will focus on developing skills that are conducive to perpetuating a positive environment for survivors and their children while simultaneously providing empowerment based advocacy and effective solutions in cases involving the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse.

Adoption Month Resources

From our friends at the Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program: We’ve got some great video & radio for National Adoption Month that we’re hoping you’ll post for your followers. There is a video, “The Power of Adoption,” that is 6:15 long. Here is the link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jb0fixnbzl649ks/GAL_Michelle%20Scott%20v3.mp4?dl=0 And there is an excellent call-in show on adoption on WFSU-FM, followed by a feature story that includes the same voices. Here are the links: Perspectives: Adoption From All Sides http://news.wfsu.org/post/perspectives-adoption-all-sides Adoption Awareness Month: Building Strong Foster and Adoptive Families http://news.wfsu.org/post/adoption-awareness-month-building-strong-foster-and-adoptive-families

Smile! Amazon offering 10x the benefit to charities

Follow this link to set your smile.amazon.com account to support FloridaFAPA … and we’ll get 10 times the regular benefit (5%) until Nov. 2 (back to .5% of each purchase after that time frame.) smile.amazon.com/ch/59-3401538

Another way to help Panhandle foster/adoptive families

The Florida Coalition for Children has set up an Amazon Wishlist to allow people to donate directly to Hurricane Michael victims.   https://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/37OLWZJX13OXB/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_awwl_s_iDZYBbDD9DD8W   Per Victoria Vangalis Zepp, Florida Coalition for Children’s EVP & Chief Policy and Research Officer, “Purchases will be shipped to FCC and we’ll either move to the warehouse or our teams can pick up from there (for distribution.)”

ELECTION RESULTS: New President in 2019

FloridaFAPA’s election results are in, and Amanda Williams will lead the organization as President starting on Jan. 1, 2019. Amanda has been a foster parent for the last 7 years in Gainesville. She has served on the FloridaFAPA board as regional vice president, independent living chair and has led the teen programs at our conferences for the last few years. She is also a past president of the Alachua County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.