CEO Message for September 11, 2020
Unified for a #SystemofSuccess
As we started the week honoring America’s workforce and taking some time off, and we close out the week with the anniversary of 9/11, remembering and honoring the thousands of Americans who lost their lives 19 years ago, I hope you will take time to reflect on and honor all those who have sacrificed but also to be hopeful and encouraged by the memories of how, even during the most challenging times, Americans show amazing resilience.
During these challenging times (past and present) communities throughout America have always exhibited unity and strength. Similarly, unity, commitment to hard work, and true grit when faced with challenges are emblematic traits of our #systemofsuccess. Every day, thousands of individuals around our state are in communities helping to ensure children and families are safer and healthier.
That spirit of unity (and at times, grit) is what’s going to help us continue to navigate the challenges created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including the economic impacts on the state’s economy and could impact our system of care.
State Economic Forecast
To that end, the Legislative Budget Commission met this week to discuss Florida’s Long-Range Financial Outlook. I will provide more details on Monday but the general consensus from the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research is that shortfalls will last for at least the next three fiscal years, according to the report accepted by lawmakers during the Joint Legislative Budget Commission. Florida’s Chief Economist, Amy Baker, noted half of those deficits come from tourism alone, which is the state’s biggest moneymaker.
You can watch the meeting and hear more details about the forecast here. As the whole state faces these fiscal challenges, it will be more important now than ever for us to continue to stay engaged with lawmakers and the Department of Children and Families to lessen the impacts of any budget cuts directly impacting Florida’s child welfare programs and services.
Engaging for Improved Outcomes
One of the ways FCC members are remaining engaged is working with the department and the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on our performance improvement. Thanks to our members who are participating in this effort, we had a great initial meeting this week and look forward to future meetings and progress.
Again, this is a critical time for us to stay engaged with lawmakers — especially in your communities. Don’t forget about FCC’s Action Center where you can sign up to easily email your local lawmakers and stay tuned for any campaigns on key issues we need help delivering messages to lawmakers. This is also a time we turn our attention to developing our legislative priorities and budget requests. Tune into our Monday calls for more updates about those initiatives and priorities from FCC’s Victoria Vangalis Zepp.
Together, we will continue to navigate these challenges and continue to advocate with a unified voice to ensure Florida’s children and families have access to a system of care that is fully resourced, well managed, and fulfills the needs of at-risk children and families.