"A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." - Bob Dylan
Monthly Update - July 2017  

"Responsibility is the price of freedom."
-American philosopher Elbert Hubbard
At FFCR, we work to make sure no child in foster care slips through the cracks. We check to see that medical appointments happen and necessary services like counseling are received, and that children, youth and young adults are moving toward forever homes. By giving to FFCR, you are improving a young person's future. Every dollar given will be doubled - up to $20,000 in donations - thanks to generous challenge gifts from FFCR legacy board member Peggy Hudson and current board member David McWilliams.  Be an everyday hero for Miami-Dade kids !
Nine New Volunteers Join the FFCR Team!
(clockwise from top left) Lisa Gandolfo, Andrea Kirsh, Anne-Catherine Bauer, Connie Williams, Corey Davis, Trevor Hansen, Phillip Brutus, Mary Jo Mosca, Ebony Brooks
On July 27th, FFCR welcomed nine new volunteers to our amazing corps of 70. Ranging from attorneys and teachers to social workers and real estate agents, each of our new Citizen Review Panel (CRP) members has prior volunteer experience and brings a unique perspective. Prior to completing the two-day pre-service training, each prospective volunteer observed a CRP in action and reviewed extensive print and online materials. Now, each will be assigned to serve on a panel at least one full day per month. Volunteers are also required to undergo a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education training each year, though many do far more. Our volunteers are our heroes, and we are inspired by their dedication to ensuring that each child gets the individualized attention he or she deserves. Want to join our volunteer team? Sign up here!
The CRP Gives Hope to Mom and Daughter:
Rochelle's Story

Rochelle*, age 12, was removed from her home after substance abuse by her mom and domestic violence by her dad. She was living with her aunt at the time her case came before the Citizen Review Panel (CRP). During the hearing, the CRP tried to collect as much information as possible, but found little - the case manager said she had only been on the case for a few months and that several other case managers had preceded her. All assumed that the mother was not engaged in services and that reunification might not be an option for this family... READ MORE.

*Name and likeness have been changed to protect privacy.
FFCR's Citizen Review Panel Program Expands to Hear Cases from Unified Family Court
UFC Director Lauren Lazarus and Assistant Director Eileen Suero conducted the FFCR UFC training.
FFCR's Citizen Review Panel (CRP) Program is expanding! The CRP uses specially trained volunteers to conduct the judicial review hearings required every six months for children and young adults who have been abused, neglected or abandoned and are under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Dependency Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit. The hearings ensure that each youth's needs are being met, and that he or she is moving toward a permanent home. Beginning in August, the CRP will start conducting judicial reviews of children referred by the  Unified Family Court Division (UFC), which is authorized to handle related family law matters when they involve any of the same parties, children or issues and are pending simultaneously in the Family, Juvenile and/or Domestic Violence Divisions.   Domestic violence, delinquency and domestic relations issues are often present in dependency cases, and thus the UFC division is handling a large number of cases involving abused and neglected children. Referral of these cases to the CRP for in-depth review will provide support to the UFC Division judges, lawyers and court staff, as well as to the children and families reviewed.

To accommodate the new referrals, FFCR is opening three new CRP panels and, although the CRP will be conducting the same judicial reviews as in non-UFC cases, volunteers serving on the new panels have received specialized training. The training, provided by UFC Director Lauren Lazarus and Assistant Director Eileen Suero, ensures that the volunteers understand the UFC process. FFCR looks forward to serving the families involved with the Unified Family Court Division and is grateful to the Honorable Ariana Fajardo Orshan (UFC Administrative Judge),  Marcia B. CaballeroRosa C. Figarola and  Steven Lieberman (General Magistrate) for their partnership.
Fostering Connections: FFCR Volunteers and Staff Tour the Miami Bridge Youth Shelter, an FFCR Community Partner
On Tuesday, July 11th, FFCR volunteers and staff toured Miami Bridge, Miami-Dade County's only emergency home serving kids ages 10 to 17. The tour was part of FFCR's ongoing Fostering Connections program to provide volunteers with continuing training and education. FFCR is partnering with Miami Bridge in developing and implementing a new pilot, the Permanent Connections Roundtable (PCRT) Program to help find lifelong, nurturing adult connections for unaccompanied homeless youth. The PCRT Program is an innovative new approach using principles from the Permanency Roundtable (PRT) Program for youth in foster care.

Miami Bridge serves as a nexus point for kids in crisis, including those who are homeless, runaways, truant, or experiencing issues at home. Miami Bridge acts as a safe place where kids can get in-shelter counseling, substance abuse prevention services, life skills training, family reunification services and case management, health-care coordination and much more - including arts and crafts activities and field trips. Outside the shelter, Miami Bridge also provides a First Stop for Families Program to assist families in crisis, as well as truancy diversion services to assist youth in overcoming obstacles to attending school. Miami Bridge, thank you for your work in the community, and for your partnership!
In the news 

In the community

Foster Youth Weekly, FFCR's Online Newspaper 

Like being in the know? FFCR curates Foster Youth Weekly, an online paper focusing on resources useful to and supportive of youth in foster care and young adults recently in care. Check it out for employment info and more. To receive it in your inbox, be sure to subscribe!