FFCR's Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
Tickets On Sale Now! Maxine's Closet - March 12
A Tribute to Maxine Thurston-Fischer
CRP Success Story: Kayla & Tiana
Fostering Connections: A Training Program for FFCR Volunteers
FFCR Speaks to the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation
In the News



Quick Links


Building Family Capacity

What You Can Do

Citizen Review Panel Highlights

December 2014

64 children had their cases reviewed

328 court orders were issued

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

60 volunteers were active in reviewing cases
15 volunteers attended

a Permanency Values & Permanency Roundtable Program  Training


January 2015


91 children had their cases reviewed


469 court orders were issued


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


66 volunteers were active in reviewing cases


20 volunteers attended

the training,

"Effectively Meeting the Needs of Teenage Parents in Out-of-Home Care"


From the Executive Director                       2.26.15
Compassion and Accountability

At the end of January I spoke before Miami-Dade's legislative delegation about the barriers Florida must address in order to provide children with safe and stable homes. I tried to speak with compassion not only for the kids we serve, but also for the elected officials tasked with the enormous responsibility of creating child protection policies. Their job is tough, as are the jobs of caseworkers, Department of Children & Families (DCF) attorneys, foster and biological parents, Dependency Court judges, counselors and all the other people who play a critical role in the lives of abused and neglected children.


At Florida Foster Care Review (FFCR), we talk a lot about accountability, and with good reason - accountability is a must-have in the quest to keep children safe. But so too is compassion. Compassion helps us understand not only the needs of the children we serve, but also the challenges facing those working to make children's lives better. Ultimately, we're all part of the same team, sharing the same goal, and it behooves us to not only hold each other responsible, but also support each other in our efforts to achieve positive outcomes.

At FFCR, we offer several ways to be both compassionate and accountable - by attending our upcoming fundraising event in honor of Dr. Maxine Thurston-Fischer, who exemplified responsible compassion, and by signing up to volunteer on our Citizen Review Panel, where you will continually learn while making success stories like Kayla's and Tiana's possible. We welcome you as part of the team.




Candice L. Maze, Executive Director

Florida Foster Care Review

MaxinesClosetTickets On Sale Now! Maxine's Closet
March 12th, 6:30 to 9:30 pm
In February 2014, the Miami community lost Maxine Thurston-Fischer, PhD, to cancer. Maxine was a trailblazer and activist in the social work field. She graciously served on FFCR's board, where she was an intuitive, compassionate champion for children in foster care. Maxine is remembered for her community leadership, but also for her sense of style.

Maxine's Closet is a fundraiser to be held in Maxine's memory. In keeping with her efforts on behalf of marginalized children and youth, Maxine's Closet will generate awareness of and support for FFCR 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.

Tickets are $25 in advance ($35 at the door) and can be purchased HERE.


All proceeds from sales will be used to further FFCR's work. In keeping with Maxine's tradition of giving back, guests are also encouraged to bring new or gently used handbags and shoes to be donated to Dress for Success.


by Doris Maya,

FFCR Volunteer & Former Colleague of Maxine's

Dr. Thurston's strictness was legendary at the school of social work. So was her Grace Jones hair and unique sense of style.

The year was 1988 and she was the coolest person I had ever known - would ever know. That she was brilliant and beautiful and blew me away.

I took every class she taught and went to office hours a lot. A lot. I must have grown on her because after I graduated she hired me to work for her at Miami Bridge where my desk was next to hers. She liked an open floor plan - like at The Thurston Group. 

Maxine Amelia Thurston-Fischer was the consummate teacher, a wife who was totally in love with her husband, a loyal friend, a foster mother and a professional social worker - old school.

Here's a summary of some of the lessons she has taught me over the decades.  The first being - don't be boring.


Love is boundless.  

Don't judge a book by its cover, but since everyone does - always look your best.

Maintain poise.

Social injustice can be addressed strategically.

Continue reading ⇒

CRPSuccessCRP SUCCESS STORY: Kayla & Tiana
In January 2015, the Citizen Review Panel
(CRP) heard the case of Kayla and Tiana, ages 2 and 4, who were then staying with their grandmother. 
At the time, the children's parents, who suffered from severe substance abuse and mental health issues, could not be located.

Upon examining the details of the case, the CRP identified critical issues. Continue reading ⇒


All FFCR volunteers undergo extensive training before they can serve on the CRP, but their opportunities for learning don't end there. In addition to Advanced Skills Trainings, FFCR offers Fostering Connections, a monthly series that helps volunteers deepen their knowledge of issues facing children and youth in foster care. Volunteers who attend can apply the time to the minimum training hours required each year.


Fostering Connections trainings are led by outside organizations and consultants, or sometimes by FFCR staff. The Florida State University Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy's Young Parents Project conducted the most recent training... Continue reading ⇒

On January 26, 2015, FFCR Executive Director Candice Maze spoke before the state senators and representatives that represent Miami-Dade County in the Florida Legislature. The Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation Hearing, as the annual meeting is called, gives residents the chance to have a say in the delegation's priorities for the upcoming session.


In an effort to better equip the legislators to make sound decisions about the lives of children in Miami-Dade, Candice spoke about systemic barriers to children's safety and permanency. She described the role of the Citizen Review Panel (CRP) as a safety net for abused and neglected children, and about how FFCR is able to identify barriers and make recommendations thanks to the collection and analysis of aggregate CRP data.

One of FFCR's recommendations based on data from the last fiscal year is to limit the use of "Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement" (commonly referred to as APPLA), as a placement goal for children in foster care. Continue reading ⇒

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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.