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

2022 Election Update

Posted June 25, 2022 by FloridaFAPA

We are excited to announce the following nominations have been received, vetted and accepted for the Election Process of the Florida FAPA:

President – Lynda Thompson

External Vice President – Melanie Stimmell

Treasurer – Paul Vernon

No Ballot will be needed as per the Bylaws, in case of a sole nominee, he/she can be elected by acclamation by the Board of Directors.

**Michele Connizzo declined nomination for President; Gerald Waters did not meet the election requirements specified in the bylaws, so his nomination was disqualified.


We are excited to announce the following nominations have been received for the Election Process of the Florida FAPA :


  • Michele Connizzo
  • Lynda Thompson
  • Gerald Waters

External Vice President

  • Melanie Stimmell


  • Paul Vernon

We will be vetting each nominee to see if they meet the criteria and will post the update next week.


Due to a faux pas at our membership meeting, we are opening elections until June 29 at midnight. Elections that are open are for executive board positions: President, External Vice President, Treasurer

Please see attached responsibilities and submit applicants on the link below or to the chair Christina Morris (


This year the following positions are up for election:




For information (including nominations) see the attached file

Conference Has Kicked Off!

Posted June 10, 2022 by FloridaFAPA

Follow the FloridaFAPA 26th Annual Education Conference on our Facebook and Twitter feeds!

We’ll post throughout the weekend!

Governor DeSantis, DCF and Child Welfare Advocates Celebrate Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week

Posted February 12, 2021 by FloridaFAPA

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Ron DeSantis has proclaimed this week, February 8-12, 2020, as Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week to acknowledge the thousands of foster parents in the state who provide love, care, and support to foster children every day.

“Many people talk of wanting to make the world a better place – these families are doing it,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The impact that a foster family can make in a child’s life can truly change their entire future. I’m thankful for these families who have selflessly opened their hearts and homes to care for vulnerable children.”

“These families make an incredible difference for children across our state and we celebrate their lasting impact on these young lives,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis.

“Florida is blessed to have so many outstanding foster parents who help to nurture them and create stability in their day-to-day lives”

“Foster parents aren’t just caregivers, they’re bedtime story readers, lunchbox packers, and family game night referees – they’re truly the ‘love’ in our system, and we’d be lost without them,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell.

“Right now, there are just over 8,000 licensed foster families, including relative and non-relative caregivers, giving their time, energy, homes, and hearts to ensure every child has a safe, happy place to lay their head at night. We are incredibly grateful for them.”

Florida has approximately 10,500 children residing with foster families while they await reunification with their biological family or to be adopted. DCF contracts with community-based care agencies throughout the state to conduct training, background screening, and licensing before pairing children with foster families.

“Foster families are true champions in communities across Florida, providing safe, stable, supportive homes for abused and neglected children,” said Kurt Kelly, CEO and President of the Florida Coalition for Children. “Our foster families commit each day to the crucial job of teaching children and birth families how to heal, thrive, and create a successful future for themselves.”

“Florida’s an amazing place to be a foster parent. We are surrounded by agency, staff, and community that all come together to help foster families. Foster parents are often the backbone of a case, helping children heal, families learn, and, ultimately, helping put family and community back together again. We’re honored that that is recognized regularly in Florida,” said Amanda Cruce, President of the Florida Foster/Adoptive Parent Association.

In 2020, the Governor, First Lady, and Secretary Poppell announced new initiatives to support and grow the foster community. The first, MyFloridaMyFamily, is a multi-purpose online portal that allows faith and community organizations to lend help to foster families and biological families facing hardships. The other, Florida’s Foster Information Center (1-83-FOSTERFL), brings together current and former foster parents to man a phone line for prospective foster parents that provides answers, guidance, and support.

If you or your organization want to become involved in supporting vulnerable children and families through fostering, service, or donations, please visit to learn more.

Media Contact:

Cruce recognized as the FCC Volunteer of the Year

Posted August 21, 2020 by FloridaFAPA

FloridaFAPA President Amanda Cruce, has been recognized as the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) Volunteer of the Year! 

For more information view the ceremony. Amanda’s award is at the 40 minute mark!

CANCELLED: 2020 FloridaFAPA Conference

Posted April 22, 2020 by FloridaFAPA


After much discussion and careful consideration we have decided to cancel the 2020 Florida FAPA conference as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.  We are working on holding a virtual conference around the same time and we will keep you informed of the progress we make.

We are sad that we won’t be able to see everyone this June in Orlando but know that we have dates secured for June 11 – 13 2021 and June 10 – 12 2022 at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek will automatically cancel all reservations made under the conference room block and you should receive confirmation from them.  Please remember to cancel any other travel or lodging reservations.

As always Florida FAPA will continue to provide support during this difficult time.  Always feel free to reach out to us directly at or and we look forward to seeing you at the annual conference next year.

Amanda Cruce, LCSW
President, Florida FAPA

Governor Ron DeSantis Declares November 2019 National Adoption Month

Posted November 5, 2019 by FloridaFAPA
November 23 is National Adoption Day
At a recent meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor DeSantis presented a resolution declaring November 2019 as National Adoption Month in Florida.
Throughout the month, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will participate in the “30 Days of Amazing Children” online campaign, sharing stories from some of the 800+ Florida children who are currently waiting to be adopted.
Then, on November 23, National Adoption Day, families throughout Florida and across the nation will come together and celebrate the joy of adoption.
“I know that Florida is filled with good, selfless people who are capable of bringing deserving children into their homes. In fact, this past year, more than 4,500 children were adopted across the state,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I’m proud to support National Adoption Month and continue to bring awareness to this important cause that is improving and enriching so many lives.”“As a mother, it breaks my heart to think of all the children who don’t have the love and support that parents should provide,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis.
“During National Adoption Month, I’m lending my voice to promote adoption and advocate for all of Florida’s children, ensuring they have a nurturing presence in their lives that will allow them to reach their full potential.”
“Governor DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis have been tireless advocates for the work we do at DCF. I’m thankful that they are recognizing National Adoption Month and supporting our statewide effort to connect children with their forever families,” said DCF Secretary Chad Poppell.

“All children deserve a safe, loving home, where they are free from abuse and neglect, and right now, many don’t have that. I encourage all Floridians who are able and willing to adopt to please consider making that life-changing decision.”
The online campaign, “30 Days of Amazing Children” will feature pictures of and stories of children available for adoption and information about the kind of family they hope to join one day. Many of them are teens, sibling groups and children with special needs who have been in the child welfare system for an extended period of time.To learn more about Florida Adoption Month and to view children available for adoption, please visit