FFCR's Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
Save the Date! Maxine's Closet
Volunteer Spotlight: Kate Callahan
Permanency Roundtable Program Update
Edward: A Permanency Roundtable Success Story
Annual Report & Legislative Advocacy
In the News
Quick Links

What You Can Do
Save the Date!
Maxine's Closet
March 12th

Citizen Review Panel Highlights - November 2014

40 children had their cases reviewed

235 court orders were issued

44 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
15 volunteers attended "CRP Legislative Changes Impacting Florida's Child Welfare System" training

8 volunteers attended "Permanency Goals - An In-Depth Review of Reasonable Efforts" training

From the Executive Director                   01.22.15
New year, new opportunities...

The New Year brings fresh challenges for children in foster care, and new opportunities for us as a community to help. In just one year's time, Miami-Dade/Monroe has seen a 36% increase in the number of children removed from their parents and a 63% increase in the number of children receiving in-home services. As the numbers of children entering the system go up, so does the need for qualified case managers, foster and adoptive families, guardians ad litem and community-based services.


As we at Florida Foster Care Review renew and expand our commitment to serve abused and neglected children in 2015, we hope you'll also include our community's children as part of your intention-setting for the New Year. Even if your time is limited, you can become a Citizen Review Panel volunteer, like Kate Callahan featured below, and help make improvements to children's lives like those described in our latest Annual Report. By taking simple steps like using GoodSearch and GoodShop online, you can generate funds for FFCR that help us start new initiatives like the Permanency Roundtable Program that led to Edward's success story. And there's always time to have fun for a cause - so mark your calendar for our upcoming Maxine's Closet event!

This past Monday, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." The quote is powerful not only for the persevering optimism it espouses, but because of the actions that lay behind it. Dr. King believed that a better future was achievable, but he did not sit by and wait for it to happen. He did everything he could to bend the arc, and his actions changed the world. We too must rise to meet today's challenges. It's up to each of us to create the society we envision for ourselves and our children.


So find a way today to include children in foster care in your goals for 2015. Our community's most vulnerable are counting on us to have their backs. Let's not let them down.


Candice L. Maze, Executive Director

Florida Foster Care Review

MaxinesClosetSave the Date! March 12th, 6:30-9:30 pm

Maxine's Closet is a fundraiser in memory of Maxine Thurston-Fischer, PhD, who was a trailblazer and activist in the social work field. Maxine was also a serious fashionista. In keeping with Maxine's efforts on behalf of marginalized children and youth, Maxine's Closet will generate support for FFCR's mission through fashion and design. The event will feature the sale or silent auction of more than 100 items donated by Maxine, including designer clothing, jewelry and glasses. The evening will include cocktails, lite bites, music and, of course, fashion. Mark your calendar for March 12th now! Tickets $25 - more info coming soon.




It's not too late for a New Year's resolution! Make one of yours to help FFCR when you shop or search online. FFCR is a registered charity with GoodSearch, an online tool that donates money to charities every time someone uses the GoodSearch engine (powered by Yahoo). GoodSearch also offers GoodShop, allowing you to earn money for your favorite charity when you shop online.

Since its inception in 2005, GoodSearch has raised more than $11.5 million dollars for over 100,000 charities in the U.S. If you sign up with GoodSearch and select FFCR as your cause, we receive about a penny each time you search the web, and a percentage of the sale each time you make an online purchase. Some FFCR staff members have been using GoodSearch and GoodShop consistently, and have been surprised to see the dollars and pennies add up for FFCR (GoodShop sends you a report). Give it a try today!  

KateCallahanVOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Kate Callahan 

Growing up, FFCR volunteer Kate Callahan's house was always full. As one of eight children, she experienced hardships while her parents struggled to provide for her and her siblings. For many years her family of 10 shared a three-bedroom apartment with one bathroom - an experience that gave her great empathy with those who live in substandard conditions. That empathy, combined with a drive to help in her community, compelled Kate to become an FFCR volunteer in Miami, Florida.  


Kate has been a valued member of the Citizen Review Panel (CRP) Program for 3 years. Continue Reading ⇒





In 2014, Florida Foster Care Review, with the support of Peacock Foundation, Inc., The Miami Foundation, and the Joseph H. & Florence A. Roblee Foundation, made the decision to apply its expertise in team-driven case reviews to a new venture - the Permanency Roundtable Program. In partnership with OurKids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. and its network of full case management agencies, FFCR facilitates structured meetings with system and community stakeholders to find permanent, loving families for youth otherwise destined to age out of foster care without lifelong, positive connections. Based on a national model developed by Casey Family Programs, the Permanency Roundtable Program is a strength-based, inclusive effort to overcome barriers and set young people up with the supportive family that each of us needs to succeed in life.

Since the program's launch, FFCR and its partners have conducted 19 initial Permanency Roundtables (PRTs) and 54 follow-up Roundtables, serving 19 children so far. Continue Reading ⇒



In 2012, local law enforcement discovered Edward*, then 11, alone on a city bus. He was unable to speak and could not communicate where he lived or who his parents were. Upon making contact with relatives, authorities discovered that Edward was developmentally delayed and had very limited speech. Edward was living in the U.S. with his father and younger brother, while his mother remained in their home country with his two other siblings.


This was not the first incident of Edward being unsupervised and wandering. Because his father could not provide a safe home, Edward was placed in foster care. Continue Reading ⇒


FFCR's 2013-2014 Annual Report is out! Our Annual Report includes a description of our Citizen Review Panel (CRP) activities for FY 2013 - 2014, which details the CRP's objectives, panel statistics and success stories.  The Annual Report also discusses other FFCR initiatives and projects like the Transitioning Youth with Disabilities initiative, which seeks to ensure that youth with disabilities exit foster care with safeguards in place to ensure their physical, emotional and financial well-being.


Our Annual Report serves as an advocacy tool for FFCR to make urgent changes to Florida's child welfare system. On January 26, 2015, Executive Director Candice Maze will speak before the Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation in the run up to the next legislative session. During that meeting, Candice will describe the barriers to children's permanency, safety and well-being that we identified this year, along with ways to address these issues. While the barriers are significant and pervasive, efforts at the system and organizational levels are underway to attack some of the underlying issues.

FFCR is committed to being part of the solution. We continue to work collaboratively with system stakeholders to identify and implement strategies that will ultimately improve the lives of the children and families we collectively serve. 

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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.