The latest news about Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association:
Serving as Former Foster Youth Advisor, we welcome China Hall!
China Hall joined the Florida FAPA Board in July of 2023 as the Former Foster Youth Advisor. She is a native-born Floridian who grew up in Pinellas County. China now resides in Manatee County. Her life experiences brought her into foster care at the age of 12. Education was always important to China. She attended year-round school and graduated high school at the age of 16. She has lived on her own since she was 16 and worked her way through college. She has undergraduate degrees in Graphic Design and Psychology. She has a master’s degree in human resources management.
China has held various volunteer roles since becoming an adult to include working at a couple of domestic violence shelters, a homeless shelter, and as a Big Sister with BBBS of the Suncoast for 10 years. She has been on a lifelong healing journey and strives to use her past traumas and experiences to help others.
China married her husband, John in 2000. They have three biological children and began fostering in 2014. In 2015, they adopted their 4th child. They fostered for five years until 2019. China has worked for the Safe Children Coalition since 2020 licensing foster homes. China’s hobbies include photography, writing and volunteer work. She is passionate about foster care. China wants children to be in safe, loving homes and for families to be healed through foster care.
Serving as Board Members at Large, we welcome Jerrod Pfeffer.
Jerrod is the father of 3 girls 15, 13, and 9. He has been fostering for 4 years now and is in the final stages of also becoming a first-time adoptive parent. This is his most important work! Jerrod is the President of the Columbia County FAPA, as well as the Treasurer of the Alachua County FAPA.
Jerrod is the President of a non-profit called The Nest, whose mission is to serve the Adoptive and Foster families of our area in North Florida. The Nest is a CarePortal.org Implementing Partner Agency, and he also acts as the CarePortal Regional Manager covering the Counties of Baker, Columbia, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Madison, and Suwannee. In this role he connects different agencies, churches, and community donors in supporting the CarePortal ecosystem in his area. He lives in a rural area and has a desire to see our foster and adoptive community more connected utilizing the resources available. Professionally, he works for 1sixty8.com media as the Head of Operations and Design/Production overseeing the social media, Website Creation, and marketing of services and products. He also does much freelance work in graphic design and is a hay farmer. Yeehaw!
Happy 2023! Florida FAPA is looking to fill vacancies on its board. Board members serve a 2-year term, with a total of 6 years in a position. Board members play to their strengths, participate in monthly board calls, submit state-wide paperwork and attend Florida FAPA conferences virtually and in person.
Florida FAPA is seeking some of the following skills:
Pro Bono Atty (Family Law)
Support Funding (i.e. in-kind companies, donating services, food, etc)
Licensed mental health worker
Graphic Designer/social media
Areas that we would like to see (but not required):
Panhandle, Tallahassee, Tampa area, Rural, southern east coast
Florida FAPA is pleased to announce the 2023 FloridaFAPA Annual Education Conference call for Workshop Proposals. The Annual conference will host hundreds of foster, adoptive, kinship caregivers and child welfare professionals.
We are seeking proposals on topics such as: advocacy, trauma informed care, various behavior issues, domestic violence or substance abuse, the adoption process, human trafficking, understanding the court system, importance of GAL, early childhood courts, lgbtq+, empowering youth, working with teenagers, kinship/relative caregivers, post adoption support, changes in the dependency process, birth parent/family connections, and self-care.
*All handouts are the responsibility of the presenter.
*Presenters are responsible for providing their own laptop at the conference.
*The following will be set in each classroom, LCD projector, projection screen. (If you have a quality projector that you are comfortable with, feel free to bring it, as provided projectors are basic models.)
DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS IS FEBRUARY 28, 2023.
Amanda, Thank you for the past 4 years of service as President of FloridaFAPA. We have seen growth in all aspects of the association. You have been integral to the important advances we have made, and for that, we Thank You for your service. Even though you will not be our President, you will still be here working with us to build a better Association for the betterment of the families we serve.
Editor’s Note: Amanda’s terms as President of FloridaFAPA ended on on Dec. 31.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org
This year the following positions are up for election:
EXTERNAL VICE PRESIDENT
For information (including nominations) see the attached file