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August 2017
Message from the CEO
As summer comes to a close, and children are returning to school, I trust this newsletter greets you having had a memorable summer with your children, family, and friends.  Now it's time to gear back up for the 2017-18 school year.

As you prepare for your children to return to school and the structure and opportunity it provides for them over the coming months, I'd like to share what research tells us about the factors that promote healthy development both academically and socially.

According to Spark, "every major study regarding the impact of extracurricular activities on child development shows that academic grades, study habits, and school-based behavior all improve when children attend regular after school clubs and team sports." [1]

Read More  

Three things to watch for in our 'A'-rated school district
By Dr. Desmond Blackburn, Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools

Welcome back, teachers, students and families. You are what makes Brevard Public Schools so special - and why our district earned an 'A' grade from the state this year. I'm glad you're here. 

In addition to new lessons and standards in the classroom, I hope you notice three changes that your school board and I have implemented for the coming year.
Discipline plan
First, all schools will have a new discipline plan. It was carefully researched and designed to make sure that school leaders administer discipline consistently and fairly across the district for misbehavior, regardless of the student's background.  It is not a relaxing of standards. Nor is it a zero-tolerance policy. Instead, it gives principals a range of clearly defined options for nearly every situation.
School improvements
Second, we have begun working to make schools everywhere safer and more comfortable places to learn and work.

Over the summer, BPS spent more than $40 million dollars from a half-cent sales surtax approved by voters to replace roofs, air conditioning, pipes and equipment at 17 schools across Brevard.  We also have accelerated the installation of security fencing and visitor-access controls at all Brevard schools by spring break 2018.

The surtax for facilities has raised nearly $100 million dollars so far, and all but a handful of schools have received renewal or repairs with the money. Please join me in thanking voters.

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Back To School Resources
We would like to wish all students, teachers, and staff members the best of luck for a successful 2017-2018 school year!  Below please find back to school resources to assist with the transition.

Save the Date! Decades in Revue Lip Sync Battle
On Saturday, October 21, 2017, the biggest stars of Brevard County will take the stage to lip sync and perform a song inspired by this year's theme, the "Awesome 80'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. Performers will gather community "votes" prior to their performance in the form of donations.  Each $1 raised will equate to one vote for the performer. At the end of the night, the performers will be judged by an expert panel and given scores based 50% on their performance and 50% on money they raised.
For additional information about the 3rd Annual Decades in Revue Lip Sync Battle, please click here.

Foster Together.  Foster a Future.

At a time when they need stability and security, to separate a child from their brother or sister can cause distress and adversely impact their sense of well-being. However, we simply don't have enough foster homes to keep siblings together.  That's why we need your help.

Become a foster parent.

Join us for an informational session and get answers to all of your questions from professionals in the field like, foster parents, adoptive parents, licensing and adoption experts. 
August 22, 2017, South Care Center, Palm Bay  
September 12, 2017, Central Care Center, Rockledge       

Contact our Recruitment Specialist to find out additional information at 
321.752.4650 x3031 or foster@brevardfp.org or visit our website here
Heart Gallery
Brevard Family Partnership recently held a photo shoot for our Heart Gallery.  The Heart Gallery is Brevard Family Partnership's platform to educate our community about public child adoptions and to introduce prospective foster parents and families to the children who are in search of their "forever home".

Click here to learn more about Adoption FAQ's, myths and facts about adoptions, resources for prospective and current foster parents and families and, of course, pictures and profiles our children available for adoption. 

As mentioned, not only is there a need for foster homes for sibling groups, we also have several siblings available for adoption who are searching for their forever family. 

Help Us Give: Spread Awareness
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 contribute in some way to help a child or family in need.   

Help us spread awareness by sharing information in the community about the foster children and families who need our support.  
Here are some ways you can help:
  • Help recruit people you believe would make good foster parents
  • Tell your church, school, or community group about the need for foster parents or invite a BFP team member to speak to the employees of your business or the members of your organization, association, or congregation
  • "Like Us" on Facebook
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.
Champions for Brevard's Children
Brevard Family Partnership will be featuring the "Champions for Brevard's Children" section in each newsletter, highlighting our providers and community partners, and the amazing work they are doing in the community for our children.

In this issue, we are pleased to highlight Friends of Children and Families, Inc. (FriendsCF).

Friends of Children and Families, Inc. is a  non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for at-risk children and their families, and give them the opportunity to develop into well-adjusted and productive members of society. Their philosophy is based on the belief that if children are provided with love, a sense of security, structure and positive opportunities for growing in a family and community atmosphere, then healthy development will occur.

FriendsCF was recently featured in the Sanford Herald for their work with iPrevail, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable relief and rehabilitation for families or individuals who have been affected by calamities and personal tragedies.

FriendsCF and iPrevail, along with Foster Friends of Oviedo, have partnered together to help youth in need by enriching the lives of foster homes around Central Florida by organizing events for group homes and soliciting business donations that go directly to the kids.
BFP Exceeds Goal for Child Adoptions
Brevard Family Partnership (BFP) has exceeded the goal for child adoptions finalized for fiscal year 2016-2017.  BFP works in conjunction with IMPOWER, who provides overlay adoption case management services to achieve permanency for children who have been permanently removed from their home and reside in foster, relative, or kinship care.
The agency's adoption goal for the year was 67 adoptions, which was exceeded with a total of 98 adoptions finalized between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.  Several agencies within Brevard worked collaboratively to identify unique ways to help find permanency for the youth, including child-specific recruitment events, mentor families for older youth, participating in permanency round tables, and locating biological families that had previously lost their rights and engaging them to allow for potential placement as a non-relative.
Kudos to the IMPOWER adoption team, consisting of Dana Whitson, Adoptions Supervisor, Tina Reina, Adoption Support Coordinator, Steve Glywasky, Adoption Support Coordinator, and William (Bill) Marallo, Adoption Recruiter.  The team works alongside Brevard Family Partnership's Director of Intake, Jessica Ayala, and Staff Attorney, Patrice Grier.  Congratulations and thank you for your hard work and dedication in helping children in our community find their forever homes.  
Training Corner - BFP Training Opportunities
 Keys to Independence Training  
September 26, 2017
SESSION I: 10:00-11:30
SESSION II: 2:00-3:30

Bill Posey Conference Center
2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way 
Viera, FL 32940  
Training provided by: Wayne Brown, CBC Central Florida 

Please RSVP by September 15th to Lori Taylor
Non-Abusive Psychological and Physical Intervention (NAPPI)

NAPPI Training is being rolled out as a required training for all foster parents. Relative /Non-Relative caregivers and group home staff are invited to attend as well.

NAPPI training is intended to provide skills to caregivers for managing difficult behaviors. This training will teach Psychological i.e. verbal behavior management techniques.
A Special Thank You
We would like to give a BIG Thank You to these local organizations and community members who donated school supplies to our children in foster care:

Department of Revenue - Child Support Enforcement
Suntree Marital Arts and Families
Palm Bay Ford
Viera Elks Lodge #2817
Betty Hart - Hart Real Estate
First Baptist Church of Melbourne
North Brevard Foster Care Task Force
New Covenant Fellowship
                                                St. Gabriel's Episcopal                                              
Indian River City Church
First Christian Church
Redeemer Presbyterian
Mims United Methodist Church
Great Outdoors Community Church
Robbins Property Associates - Waverly Place Apartments 
Your donations helped the children feel confident and ready to start the school year off right! Thank you for your generosity!   
Brevard Family Partnership
2301 W. Eau  Gallie Blvd., Suite 104
Melbourne, FL 32935
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