The latest news about Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association:
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 MyFloridaMyFamily.com to learn more.
Media Contact: HQW.Press.Office@MyFLFamilies.com
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!
A NOTE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we look forward to seeing you at the annual conference next year.
Amanda Cruce, LCSW
President, Florida FAPA
|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 adoptflorida.org.
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 HAVE CLOSED ***
Secretary: Curtis Byrd & Christine Morris
Internal 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• 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