FFCR's Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
$6,601 raised on Give Miami Day
Claws for Kids Luncheon Recap
FFCR Honored by the Miami Beach Commission
Stop the Sale of our Children for Sex
Success in Review: Jessica's Story
In the News

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Citizen Review Panel Highlights - October 2014

61 children had their cases reviewed

329 court orders were issued

42 new cases were referred by the Dependency Court; their cases will be reviewed in the next 5 months

68 volunteers were active in reviewing cases
19 volunteers attended "Engaging Youth and Young Adults" training

From the Executive Director                   12.15.14
Looking back on 2014 

As we wrap up the year, I look back with gratitude at what we built together in 2014.


First, Florida Foster Care Review completed 25 years of service to children in Miami's foster care system. FFCR has been a steadfast safety net for children since 1989. In 2014, we built on that foundation by increasing the number of children served, adding reviews for 18-21 year-olds in extended foster care and revamping our database and reporting to better identify and address children's needs. We also partnered with  OurKids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. to create the Permanency Roundtable Program, which seeks to give youth in foster care greater possibilities for success by helping them find a 'forever family.'


These unprecedented expansions were made possible by all the ways you supported FFCR in 2014. Some of you attended our 9th Annual Claws for Kids or donated on Give Miami Day. Our ever-growing community on Facebook and Twitter helped us share news and best practices. We couldn't do this work without our committed volunteers and staff who furthered FFCR's mission with their creativity, compassion and insight.


In the midst of the good news, 2014 was also bittersweet for FFCR because we lost Maxine Thurston-Fischer, a former board member. A trailblazer, Maxine was the first African American to graduate from Florida State University with a master's degree in social work. We remember her as the unique, dynamic and always fashionable powerhouse who touched many lives.


In this holiday season, we send our heartfelt appreciation to you - our volunteers, donors, supporters and friends - and of course, to the wonderful children for whom we work. We wish you abundance, happiness and health this holiday season. Thank you for making 2014 a success. Have a safe, happy new year and we'll see you in 2015!



Candice L. Maze, Executive Director

Florida Foster Care Review

$6,601 raised on Give Miami Day
Many thanks to everyone who donated or helped promote FFCR's Give Miami Day campaign. Including funds received through The Miami Foundation's bonus pool, we received $6,601 in net contributions from 75 donors - well above our goal of $5,000. We couldn't have done it without you!

Moreover, our entire team was inspired by the outpouring of support and by seeing what is possible when we come together as a community. Next year we're raising the bar to $10,000 to challenge Miamians to give even more to help ensure the safety of children in foster care.
Candice stands with FL Rep. David Richardson as he supports youth in foster care by participating in FFCR's "You Matter" campaign
Call us shellfish but we just had the best time at our Claws for Kids luncheon!

With nearly 300 guests in attendance, our 9th Annual Claws for Kids event was a hit! Whether you bought tickets, entered the raffle, purchased a table or sponsored the event, you were part of raising close to $70,000 in crucial funds for our work. Thank you!

Be sure to check out the latest photos from the event, courtesy of Ken Tannenbaum. Thank you, Ken! Special thanks also to Platinum Claw Sponsor White & Case, as well as Gold Claw Sponsors Peggy and Doug Hudson, Fridababy & Stephanie and Michael Rosen and The Huntington Consulting Group. We appreciate you!

FFCR Honored by the Miami Beach Commission

On October 29th, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and the Miami Beach City Commissioners, at the request of Commissioner Edward L. Tobin, issued a proclamation recognizing November as National Adoption Month and calling on Miami Beach residents to help children in foster care by volunteering, becoming a foster parent or adopting.


The proclamation highlighted the work of Florida Foster Care Review and other organizations that support foster children and their families. Commissioner Tobin included FFCR after learning about the work of the Citizen Review Panel. During the Commission meeting at which the proclamation was issued, Commissioner Tobin emphasized, "...this organization [FFCR] is amazing, and for citizens to spend one day a week to review files to make sure the children are taken care of is great." Dessiree Kane, Commissioner Tobin's aide, spoke of her experience as a foster child and how members of the community can help. FFCR Executive Director Candice Maze also had the opportunity to speak about the positive impact that community members can have on the needs of children in foster care.


The Commission's proclamation noted that there are over 3,500 children currently in foster care in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, and over 500 children waiting to be adopted - and that those numbers are increasing daily.

Stop the Sale of our Children for Sex

This month FFCR partnered with the Stop Sex Trafficking Miami Campaign, a collaborative community effort to raise public awareness about sex trafficking of children in Miami in order to engender the public and political will to end it. Sex trafficking rings often target foster youth, knowing that many youth in foster care live in an unstable environment and are under extreme psychological and emotional stress. Homeless and "aging out" youth are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers and are more likely to be compliant with their demands because they are looking for someone to care for them. This must stop, and we can all play a part in identifying victims of sex trafficking in our communities. FFCR will be sharing information about Stop Sex Trafficking Miami campaign events and news through Facebook, Twitter and our website.


Success in Review: Jessica's Story

Last month, FFCR's Citizen Review Panel (CRP) heard the case of Jessica, age 11, who had recently been placed in a pre-adoptive home for the standard 90-day period before her adoption could be finalized. Prior to the CRP hearing and before the end of the 90-day period, Jessica's case manager recommended family therapy and certified behavioral analyst (CBA) services in order to resolve household tensions and significant behavioral concerns that warranted intervention.

At the CRP hearing, panelists grew concerned upon learning that Jessica's adoption might be finalized before the 90-day period was completed. The panelists worried because the services recommended by the case manager - services critical to the long-term stability of the adoption - had not yet been implemented. In the course of the review, all the parties agreed that postponing the adoption until the recommended services were in place was the best course of action to ensure the adoption's success. The CRP brought the case back before the judge, who was receptive to the Panel's recommendation and agreed to monitor the case for another 90 days.


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About Florida Foster Care Review 

Established in 1989 by a United Way committee, Florida Foster Care Review promotes the safety, well-being and long-term success of abused and neglected children in our community. Through special recruitment and training, volunteers review cases of youth in foster care to ensure they are safe and receiving needed services, intensively promoting positive outcomes. Together with child welfare professionals, Florida Foster Care Review also works to ensure that children and youth leaving the foster care system have someone they can call family. Through all its programs, Florida Foster Care Review tracks and analyzes outcomes in order to advocate for system changes that improve children's lives.