CEO Message for September 25, 2020
Collaboration & Resilience
There is no question that 2020 has been a year to remember…or try to forget.
But even through the pandemic, 2020 has provided useful lessons and reassuring displays of collaboration and resilience. Those are fundamental hallmarks of our community of care.
Frontline workers and leaders of our system stepped up to ensure there was little to no disruption in care. They made sure teams had personal protective equipment. They found innovative ways to provide virtual support and services to children and families.
This year has truly been a testament to Florida’s #systemofsuccess and our collective commitment to provide the right support for our children and families.
That’s why when we have another destructive storm like Hurricane Sally, it compounds the stress level for our staff and children. While we’re thankful the storm was not as devastating as previous hurricanes, Hurricane Sally still caused extensive flooding and power outages that forced several foster families and staff members out of their homes in the western Panhandle.
Two FCC member agencies are teaming up with us to help families with relocation and food expenses. We are staying in contact with Mark Jones, president of FamiliesFirst Network, and Mike Watkins, CEO of Big Bend Community Based Care, to work on relief efforts.
We are also providing updates to the Department of Children and Families and other partners who may be able to offer additional support.
We have reactivated the Florida Coalition for Children Hurricane Relief Fund, operated through our Foundation. If you can, we encourage you to donate, or reach out to the FCC team. All contributions are tax deductible. We will dedicate 100 percent of the money to hurricane relief. At the same time, we are working to raise matching funds to help our families in the Florida Panhandle.
We are preparing for the 2021 legislative year. This week, I’ve had multiple conversations with DCF Secretary Chad Poppell and others to formulate an agenda for the legislative session set for March 2 – April 30.
We look forward to having more discussions with you about our legislative plans. With your help, we will be the strongest voice for the children and families in our community of care.
I appreciate your hard work every day to be a healer and a peacemaker in your communities. Know that you’re in my prayers in the week ahead