CEO Message for August 21, 2020
Celebrating Our Community of Care
This week we got to take some time and celebrate as a community. While typically we are able to convene at our annual conference and celebrate various individuals and initiatives that continue to make our system a system of success, we had to get a little creative this year in light of the impacts of COVID-19.
Our community is made up of extraordinary individuals who have dedicated their lives to giving back to their communities and improving the lives of Florida’s children and families. Over the past several months, as a result of COVID-19, we have seen so many from within our community of care step up and lead in ways they could have never expected to be called upon.
They are colleagues, advocates, foster and adoptive parents, community partners, youth and so many others throughout Florida’s system of success. And this past Monday, we spent some time honoring 17 individuals who stood out to us in the past year for their commitment to and investment in helping Florida’s children and families. While we had to celebrate virtually — we got to see individuals from throughout the state be recognized and hear from their colleagues about why they were standouts in their communities and their areas of expertise!
We had more than 1,200 unique viewers from around the state and throughout the country who joined us for the live, virtual celebration on our social media platforms. If you weren’t able to join us, you can still watch the celebration in its entirety on our Facebook page or on FCC’s YouTube channel! They will be there until our next celebration, which hopefully we can do in person in 2021!
We are also continuing our CEU trainings that would typically be held during the conference, but now they are being spread out throughout the remainder of the year.
This week we had a tremendous session on Wednesday, sponsored and facilitated by Casey Family Programs and the Selfless Love Foundation and featuring some truly inspirational youth who are part of FCC’s One Voice IMPAACT program!
During the session “The Value of the Youth Voice in Placement Stability,” Dr. Peter Pecora, Managing Director of Research Services for Casey Family Programs, joined One Voice IMPAACT Youth Leaders, Rayla James, John Watson and Diamond Whitley to discuss key reasons why placement change should be minimized and factors that would lower the risk of placement change. The Selfless Love Foundation’s Dr. Elizabeth Wynter and FCC’s Brandie McCabe shared lessons learned about youth engagement and opportunities to incorporate youth voice in a variety of placements.
If you weren’t able to attend the session, stay tuned as we may add additional “youth voice” trainings. The session presentation is available on the FCC member portal, Star Chapter, and the recording of the session will be available on our YouTube channel.
You can find more details on the upcoming sessions on our conference website, as well as the list of additional topics for the remaining webinars scheduled through the end of the year.
Questions? Please contact [email protected].
COVID Response Updates
We are continuing to closely monitor the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on our #communityofcare and work with the Department of Children of Families on a coordinated and collaborative response. Our goal is to ensure that DCF remains informed of the impacts on communities and service-providing agencies throughout our system of care and that we also remain prepared and aware of any policy, program and funding that could directly impact our agencies and the children and families we serve.
We are continuing to remain focused on the economic impacts to the state budget and what that might mean for child welfare funding. We heard better news this week about the economic forecast and had an encouraging call with Secretary Chad Poppell. We are hoping for the best, but also preparing for reductions, which we hope will be less than anticipated but please, know FCC leadership is remaining engaged and we will ensure that all throughout our system of care are prepared and remain well-resourced so our agencies can continue providing essential services for Florida’s children and families.
In additional good news this week, DCF has partnered with Nona Scientific Laboratory to provide COVID testing to agencies throughout our system of care. There was a webinar earlier this week to discuss how to apply for some of the test kits and how to conduct testing and obtain results. You can find that information as well as a recording of the webinar in the FCC Member portal in the COVID Response Resources section.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Lauren White at FCC. Please keep us informed of your ongoing needs in your communities. FCC is here to support our agencies and communities and ensure that even in this “new normal,” we continue to improve outcomes and assure the safety and well-being of children and families throughout our state!