"We rise by lifting others." - Robert Green Ingersoll
Monthly Update - April 2017  
FFCR Celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Week with Volunteer Luncheons

April 23rd through 29th is National Volunteer Week and Florida Foster Care Review is celebrating! During our last fiscal year (2015-16), 66 specially trained volunteers spent 3,590 hours engaged in Citizen Review Panel hearings, leveraging $265,631 worth of volunteer time for abused and neglected children and youth. This year, 65-75 volunteers each serve on one of 12-15 Citizen Review Panels monthly, working under the supervision of FFCR's expert staff to identify the unmet needs of children and youth in foster care. To say thank you, we've been hosting luncheons for each panel throughout the month.

To see more photos of our lunches go to our Facebook album hereWant to be part of the cause? Find more info here!
A Step Toward Better Health and a Brighter Future:
Max's Story

Before Max* was removed from his parents at age 10, they provided him with almost no medical care and frequently locked him in his room for hours, without access to the bathroom or food and water. He urinated there and sometimes climbed out the window to ask neighbors for something to eat and drink. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) placed Max with relatives, but after two years, when he was 12, they no longer wanted to care for him, complaining that his behavior was too difficult to manage. His parents' rights were terminated and he went to live in a foster home. It was at this point his case was referred to FFCR's Citizen Review Panel (CRP) Program.
After a detailed document review and inquiry during his CRP review hearing, volunteer panelists learned - among many issues discovered - that Max's teeth were so covered with tartar and plaque that he required the care of an oral surgeon. He also needed braces to alleviate severe tooth overcrowding that interfered with his ability to talk. Nearly 12 months after these issues had been identified, Max still had not seen the dental specialists or received the required care.
The case manager - Max's third in a year - explained to the panel that one barrier to treatment was Medicaid's refusal to cover the braces as they were not deemed medically necessary. The CRP ordered the case management agency to secure an appointment for the dental procedure and to identify resources to cover the cost of braces. FFCR also requested a hearing before the judge two weeks after the CRP's review to ensure the orders were followed. At the hearing, the agency reported that Max had been to the dentist, a payment option for braces had been identified and an orthodontic appointment was scheduled.

None of this would have been possible without the sense of urgency and commitment to quality care embraced by FFCR's team of staff and volunteers. By systematically identifying children's unmet needs, recommending solutions and promoting accountability, the CRP helped give Max a stronger foundation for his long-term well-being.
* Name and likeness have been changed to protect privacy.
Please join the FFCR community in celebrating National Foster Care Month and make a gift during May to our $20,000 CHALLENGE! Thanks to two generous supporters, your donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar until we reach $20,000.  Please make a gift and help us reach our goal of $40,000 to help protect children in foster care and give them the chance for a better future.
Pinwheels on Display During
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Throughout April, blue pinwheels have been on show to raise awareness of child abuse and the importance of working together to prevent it. The campaign provides a unique opportunity for all of us, individuals and organizations alike, to take action by learning more about prevention, supporting child and family-friendly policies and services, and volunteering at the local, state and national levels. FFCR staff joined in with our own pinwheel display. You can find out more about the national campaign here, and find local volunteer information here.
FFCR Heads to Tallahassee with Florida Youth SHINE
for Children's Week
Making it happen! Representatives from Florida Youth SHINE's Miami Chapter headed to Tallahassee along with adult mentor and FFCR staff member Marissa Leichter for Children's Week. There, they advocated for kids in foster care and thanked legislators for their support of legislation - such as the the Keys to Independence Act - that helps youth in or recently out of foster care lead productive lives.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman (District 4) with FFCR Community Relations Director Richard Pulido at the traditional Paella Fest

Dade Days Brings Together People and Organizations
During the 2017 Legislative Session, Florida Foster Care Review participated in Miami-Dade County Days, April 5th and 6th in Tallahassee. The event brought together some 1,000 individuals representing over 200 organizations from both the private and public sectors across Florida. The goal was to showcase Miami-Dade County and its municipalities in order to draw legislators' attention to the needs of our community. FFCR was represented by our Community Relations Director Richard Pulido, who connected with many individuals and organizations about the work we do to improve the lives of youth in foster care.
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!