INNOVATIVE FROM DAY ONE…
Thousands of children are languishing in foster care or falling through the cracks of an overwhelmed child welfare system. The United Way of Miami creates a community task force to identify and advocate for solutions.
Legislation (Ch. 39.701; 39.702) is enacted to enable non-profit organizations to partner with the dependency court system to implement citizen review panels to oversee and report on the well-being and safety of Florida’s foster children. In Miami, Foster Care Review, Inc. (d/b/a Florida Foster Care Review) is incorporated. The first review hearing is held in October.
After examining of the disappearance of 4-year old foster child Rilya Wilson, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel recommends Foster Care Review’s Citizen Review Panels as a critical tool for ensuring the safety and well-being of children in care.
Concerned about the importance of older youth in foster care learning ‘independent living’ skills, FFCR establishes specialized review panels for teens in foster care.
Recognizing young children in foster care are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of trauma and instability, FFCR develops early childhood review panels and disseminates publications focused on addressing the needs of children ages birth through five years old.
With many youth in care identifying as GLBTQ, FFCR educates child welfare professionals and FFCR volunteers about the needs of GLBTQ youth in foster care with a symposium and GLBTQ-youth specific resource guide.
FFCR conducts interviews with young adults who have recently ‘aged out’ of foster care to determine their well-being and preparation for adulthood. Findings are distributed locally and published in a national social work magazine.
In conjunction with our 25th Anniversary, FFCR launches the Permanency Roundtable (PRT) Program, our first major program expansion. Based on a national model developed by Casey Family Programs, PRTs are structured case consultations facilitated by FFCR’s staff that focus on achieving legal permanency and/or stable, lifelong permanent connections for youth in foster care.
After more than a decade of planning, the beautiful Miami-Dade County Children’s Courthouse, located in the heart of downtown, opens its doors to the public and becomes Florida Foster Care Review’s new home. For the first time, all of FFCR’s staff and programs are under the same roof along with other key child welfare stakeholders.
FFCR receives an Innovation Fund grant from The Children’s Trust to take the lead in developing Permanent Connections Roundtables, based on our Permanency Roundtables, to promote connectedness for homeless youth, many of whom are foster care alumni. This is the first known adaptation of PRTs for homeless youth.
We raise a record $150,000 at our 13th Annual Claws for Kids Fundraising Luncheon at Joe’s Stone Crab on Miami Beach, which allows us to expand the Permanency Roundtable Program and serve more youth. We also hosted our 1st Annual Volunteer Summit and Awards Ceremony.
In May, we celebrated FFCR’s Pearl Anniversary with a festive event at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center and present our first ever video showcasing how our programs transform children’s lives.