foster care

www.FAWL.org

The Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL) and the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL) have launched a partnership in which attorneys will be mentors for young women aging out of foster care.

FAWL president Jennifer Shoaf Richardson says her members are excited about volunteering one hour monthly to mentor teen girls who are close to aging out of the child welfare system.

"I think many people – and especially foster youth – just need to be pointed in the right direction as far as the questions they need to ask and getting connected to the wonderful resources that already exist," Richardson says.

flgov.com

Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a proclamation making April Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

At a news conference at the Capitol Tuesday morning, the governor also announced the appointment of the First Lady to chair the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.

Casey DeSantis says she’ll work with residents who relied on state services growing up.

Margie Menzel

The Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL) is holding its annual Lobby Days in Tallahassee this week. Members are hearing from policymakers and visiting lawmakers, and they’re looking to expand their good works.

On Monday, FAWL members heard from Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Simone Marstiller, and Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson.

Florida Guardian ad Litem Program

More than 400,000 American children are in foster care, and 25,000 of them are in Florida. Their average length of stay is 25.3 months, according to the Ackerman Institute for the Family – and they have rates of post-traumatic stress disorder similar to veterans of war.

Shannon Carroll owns and operates Redemptive Love Farm in Tallahassee. She and her husband have adopted 7 children and fostered many more.

Back to school supplies, like pencils, pens, and notebooks
TicketToDream.org

Florida’s child welfare agency is partnering with other groups to hold its first ever “Back to School Supply Drive” for foster care kids.

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll (left) with Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson (right)
Liberty Partners Twitter

Starting next month, a county in the Florida Panhandle will join six others across the state in taking over the child protective investigative duties of the state’s child welfare agency. Walton County Sheriff’s Office received legislative approval this year and the funds to do just that.

MGN Online

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

MGN Online

A number of child welfare bills are continuing to move in the Florida Legislature.

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Facebook

Bills aimed at fixing a glitch in a Florida law have cleared their first legislative committees in the House and Senate. The two measures could get more pro bono attorneys to help kids with special needs.

Florida Department of Children and Families twitter

Florida’s child welfare officials are doing a review of their system and already looking ahead legislatively on the state and national level on what can be done to further help children within the system.

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Facebook

Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program may have thousands of volunteers, but agency officials say they need more male role models, who can advocate on behalf of the state’s abused and neglected children.

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Facebook

Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program has received a $40,000 grant to help older youth aging out of foster care better transition into adulthood.

MGN Online

Advocates are happy about a new law on the books slated to take effect Saturday to help protect kids within Florida’s child welfare system.

iStockphoto

Governor Rick Scott has signed the “Keys To Independence” Act into law again. Years ago, he signed the measure into law creating the pilot program. Now, Scott’s approval this week now makes the program permanent to make it easier for Florida’s foster kids obtain driver’s license.

MGN Online

Two bills to help the state’s foster kids are now heading to the Governor’s desk.

Florida Channel

The Florida Senate has unanimously passed a bill making it easier for foster care kids to obtain a driver’s license as well as car insurance.

Walton County Sheriff's office Twitter

A Northwest Florida county may be the first in the Panhandle to take over the child protective investigative services—normally done by the state’s child welfare agency. Walton County could join six other counties across Florida—under a bill starting to move in the legislature.

Nakia Venant's facebook

The head of Florida’s child welfare system says it will most likely be about a month before he will have a preliminary report ready for state lawmakers about Nakia Venant. She’s the Miami teenager in foster care who committed suicide live on Facebook last month.

Logyn Robinson
Florida Channel

The Florida House is taking steps to ensure foster kids can get their driver’s license.

Florida Guardian ad Litem program's facebook page

Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program has received a national grant to help further advocate for abused and neglected kids in court.

Governor Rick Scott says he wants an additional about $23 million to fund Florida’s child welfare agency—under scrutiny recently for its involvement in two high profile child abuse deaths.

Florida Channel

The head of Florida’s child welfare agency says he’s still in the process of reforming the Florida Department of Children and Families and it’s going to take a lot of work. Florida lawmakers got that update in both the House and Senate this week.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice
Florida Channel

It’s been almost two years since a law took effect extending the age for foster care youth in the system. Florida lawmakers are now looking to build on that effort.

Leon County's "Molar Express" dental clinic is one of several in eight counties that will once again serve foster care children.
Leon County Health Department

The Florida Department of Health has closed a loophole in the state’s healthcare programs for low income families. The Department has made a deal to provide dental services to foster care children in eight counties.

Florida Department of Agriculture

For several weeks, a group of Florida foster youth has been working at one of the state’s largest state agencies as part of a new legislative pilot program. The goal is to help these young adults aging out of the foster system get on the path to future employment.

Back in 2005, Brian Williams went into the foster care system when he was a teenager. He later left when he was 18. The 22-year-old says overall, it wasn’t bad, but it was a big learning experience.

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