FFCR Staff Participates in the 2018 Child Protection Summit

From September 5-7, 2018, eight FFCR staff members participated in the 21st Annual Child Protection Summit at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. Originally known as the Dependency Court Improvement Summit, the event brings together child welfare professionals, judges, attorneys, foster families, court staff, GALs, and other stakeholders to learn about best practices and to reinforce cross-disciplinary collaboration. As the largest annual child welfare event in Florida, the Child Protection Summit brings together approximately 3,000 child welfare involved individuals and offers a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including several informative plenary sessions and a circuit-specific session. The Summit also provided an excellent opportunity for FFCR staff to spend time together outside of the work environment to strengthen our work relationships.

One of the important topics discussed during the Summit was the new Families First Prevention Services Act which is designed to keep children with families and to ensure that if children are removed, they are in the least restricted, most family-like setting that most effectively meets their needs. The FFPSA will go into effect in 2019 and will impact the funding available for foster care and removal prevention services such as mental health, substance abuse, and parenting skills training. Communities will be able to use funds previously reserved for children removed from their families to maintain those children in the home with their families. Additionally, the law aims to reduce or eliminate the use of group homes for foster children removed from their families.

Seven Florida Youth SHINE members and Robin Rosenberg, Deputy Director of Florida’s Children First, presented on “Independent Living: Florida Youth SHINE’s View of the First Five Years” at the summit.



Charles Scherer, Family & Community Services Director for the Department of Children and Families Southern Region, leads the Eleventh Circuit’s breakout session at the summit.

Kelley Schaeffer and Sarah Rumph from the Department of Children and Families presented on “2018 Developments in Dependency Case & Statutory Law” at the summit.