BFP E-NEWS
July 2018
Message from Interim CEO, James Carlson
Summer is going by quickly and the Brevard Family Partnership Family of Agencies has been busy! This summer we have celebrated the one year anniversary of Family Allies, hosted our annual Youth Thrive Summit, and are wrapping up our school supply drive with participation in the Back to School Expo community event at Melbourne Square Mall on August 4.

The Youth Thrive Summit showcased five fantastic young adults who have been part of our System of Care. Their message to us about the importance of adults being there with them in their struggles resonated with the audience and is a daily reminder to me of our mission as a child welfare agency.

We also celebrate the one year anniversary of Family Allies. The bold decision made by the Brevard Family Partnership Board, along with the hard work of the Family Allies leadership team, has led to transformational change in our case management service here in Brevard County. We celebrate all of their accomplishments made in one short year, greatly improving outcomes for children and families.

We should also recognize the work of our Adoption Services staff at IMPOWER, who together with Family Allies Care Managers, and BFP program and legal staff, far exceeded our annual target and finalized 143 adoptions in the 17-18 fiscal year, surpassing our best previous year by 45 adoptions. Read More
National Make a Difference to Children Month
In honor of National Make a Difference to Children month, we would like to recognize those among us who go above and beyond each and every day to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Brevard's children.

We would like to thank the following child advocates in our community who tirelessly invest in our children and families, the Brevard Family Partnership Family of Agencies staff, providers, Board members, donors, and volunteers, our local legislators, and community supporters.

  Thank you for being an integral part of Brevard's System of Care. We appreciate your contributions to improving the quality of life for the children in our community.
Spotlight: Angela Oliver-Burgess
In recognition of National Make a Difference to Children Month, we would like to feature one of the many individuals in our community making a difference to the children in our care, Angela Oliver-Burgess.
 
Briefly please describe the work that you are doing with youth in our community.
With my organization SMILE for Budgie, I work to provide educational and psycho-social support to vulnerable and at-risk children and youth who have been abandoned, neglected and abused. I work to promote healthy positive development of young people through opportunities for adventure leadership development, expressive arts for healing and empowerment, and nature focused animal assisted learning. In addition, educational scholarships for young people in our community who face economic and social hardships and have the dedication to complete their education in order to pursue their professional goals.  
 
Through Smile for Budgie, I work with Brevard Family Partnership to strengthen the capacity of young people in care with the necessary competencies to serve as effective leaders for change on the Brevard Youth Leadership Council. Effective leadership development involves the authentic engagement of youth in the process of understanding their own personal history and development as well as learning the skills of planning and implementing system policy and practice change. I work with the Youth Leadership Council in developing their capacity and supporting their efforts in advocating through "voice and choice" to improve the system of care; in exercising their right to be heard and being a part of decisions that impact their life.  
 
Why did you begin your work with children?
I spent the past 30 years working around the world on issues pertaining to child protection, youth development and empowerment, and advocating for the rights of children and youth. Moving to Melbourne a few years ago, I was motivated to give back to my local community.  Read More
Make a Difference
There are many ways that you can make a difference in the lives of the children and families that we serve.
 
Volunteers Make a Big Difference 
Offering your valuable time and talents can help change lives.  We and our community partners have several opportunities for volunteers that include working with children and families, supporting special events, and providing office and clerical help.  
 
Provide In-Kind Donations of Products or Services
Sometimes, it's the little things that can make a big difference in a child or family's life. An oil change. Automobile or appliance repair. A haircut and new outfit for a child heading back to school or parent interviewing for a new job. Any of these can be a positive game-changer for a family in need. 
 
Learn More About Your Community Based System of Care!   
You can also invite a staff member from BFP to speak to the employees of your business or the members of your organization, association, or congregation.  
 
Support BFP Through Your Generous Financial Contributions
Through your tax-deductible financial gift, BFP can continue to provide the support and services that help so many children and families.  Your contribution stays right here in our community, helping Brevard's children and families.
 
For additional information on how you can help, please contact Melissa Breckenridge, Public Relations Manager at 321-752-4650 Ext. 3047 or melissa.breckenridge@brevardfp.org
HUG: Help Us Give
Protecting children and strengthening families is the responsibility of every member of the community.
 
While not everyone can be a foster parent, we can all co ntribute in some way to help a child or family in need.
  Ready to Make a Difference In the Life of a Child?
Contact our Recruitment Specialist to find out additional information at 321.752.4650 x3031 or foster@brevardfp.org.
Swimming Pool Safety
With summer upon us, please take a moment to review the following water safety tips courtesy of the "Simple Steps Save Lives" Program.
 
For more information on water safety, please visit www.poolsafely.gov/   
 

Foster Care FAQ's
What if you could help make a difference in the life and future of a child in Brevard?   Brevard Family Partnership is looking for individuals who are willing to open their hearts and homes to a child in foster care.  
 
Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:

What types of children are in foster care?
Children of all ages, origins, ethnicity and backgrounds are waiting to be fostered.
 
Does it cost a lot of money to be a foster parent?  
There is a minimal financial cost in being a foster parent:
  •  The foster parents receive a monthly stipend to care for the child
  •  The child or children are totally covered for medical and dental services
  •  Financial help with recreational and educational activities is available
What types of people are foster parents?
Men, Women, Single, Married, Home Owners, Renters...Everyday people just like you are fostering children.
 
Will the foster care process take a long time?  
The length of time will vary, depending on the procedures involved in each situation. The process usually includes:  
  •  Attending an informational meeting, and completing an application
  •  Completing New Generation PRIDE training
  •  Participating in a home study
Interested in learning more about how you can help shape the lives of children in our community? Join us for an upcoming informational session and get answers to all of your questions from professionals in the field like, foster parents, adoptive parents, licensing and adoption experts. 
 
For More Information or to Sign Up for Our Next Informational Session 
Please call Christina Gagum at 321-752-4650 Ext 3031 or email foster@brevardfp.org.

Decades in Revue: Save the Date
Save the Date for the 
4th Annual Decades in Revue Lip Sync Battle!  
 
On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the biggest stars of Brevard County will take the stage to lip sync and perform a song inspired by this year's theme, the "Slammin' 70's".

Inspired by the original Jimmy Fallon "Lip Sync Battle", this feature fundraiser for Brevard Family Partnership, will raise funds to help Brevard's most vulnerable children.

Save the Date!
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Melbourne Hilton Rialto Place 
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. 
Stay tuned for more details! 
A Special Thank You
Florida Community Bank
We would like to give a very special thank you to the many individuals and organizations in our community who graciously donated backpacks and school supplies to our children in care.

We are thankful and appreciative of all of our generous partners who continuously provide support for the children and families in Brevard.

Crowne Plaza
Employee Spotlight
As our Family of Agencies continue to grow and expand, we would like to introduce you to some our amazing team members.  Each month, we will be highlighting one of our employees serving on the 2017-2018 Leadership Team. This month we will be highlighting Jessica Ayala.

Which Agency do you work for?
Brevard Family Partnership 
How long have you worked for the above agency?
Cumulatively over 3 years
What is your current title?  
I am the Director of Intake, Placement and Assessment
Briefly in 2-3 sentences explain what you do in your current role:  
My current role is to oversee the Intake and Placement Division, Clinical Services as well as the IMPOWER Adoption Division.  This role enables me the opportunity to ensure that each child is assessed early into their entry into our System of Care for the best possible placement and also allows me to be involved in the actual placement process, both temporary through foster care and permanent through adoption. I am happy to say this year alone, 143 children have been adopted and found their forever family!!!
Have you ever been in any other role within the agency? 
Yes, in 2010, I was brought on as a Utilization Review Specialist, completing the CAFAS assessments for our children placed in Licensed Out of Home Care. Later in 2010, my role transitioned to overseeing the services for all children and families in our System of Care through the PSAM Mindshare system.  
What is your favorite thing about working here?
I truly enjoy what I do, even those stressful days!! I enjoy the people that I work with daily and am appreciative of the laughter and the camaraderie. My most favorite thing about my job is when I get to have interaction with our youth and families as well as those little moments of success for the children and families we serve. 
What do you like to do in your spare time? 
When I am not on the baseball field, my solace comes when I can go to the beach with my 2 children and my husband. 
Who or What inspires you? Why? 
I am inspired by so many people daily; however, there are a few women in my life that I look up to and can only hope to emulate them in my everyday life. I am inspired by those who truly make an effort to make the world a better place. 
If you were a color crayon what color would you be? Why? 
I would be a Turquoise Crayon. Turquoise is one my favorite colors, the color turquoise is a protective and healing color. 
Brevard Family Partnership
2301 W. Eau  Gallie Blvd., Suite 104
Melbourne, FL 32935
321.752.4650 
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