Advocacy

About Child Advocacy

Child advocacy is a critical component in helping vulnerable children in the child welfare system heal from trauma, gain permanency, and ultimately thrive. At Fostering Our Future and within our legal team, we’re committed to helping foster/adoptive families get access to the information, training, and resources they need to effectively advocate for the best interests of the vulnerable children in their care.

  • Child Welfare Advisory Meetings
  • Citizen Review Panels
  • Support & Training

Child Welfare Advisory Meetings

Each month, Fostering Our Future hosts a virtual all-community meeting that brings together caregivers, community leaders, and child welfare professionals from all areas (CLS, GAL, CM, Agency, and Providers) who are seeking to make a difference for the children in the foster care system. Each monthly meeting last an hour, is survey- and content-driven, and focused on finding solutions through collaboration on a variety of hot-button issues.

With an already stressed system and growing numbers of children routinely coming into care, this is the time to fine-tune our efforts to work together for the best interest of these kids. With a strong focus on the legal front within Florida Statute, Florida Administrative Code, and strong communication among all parties, we seek to find solutions as a community that cares for these kids.

Citizen Review Panels (CRP)

Fostering Our Future is actively working to establish Citizen Review Panels in Central Florida to advocate for children currently in Florida’s child welfare system.

A Citizen Review Panel is composed of five volunteer members who monitor and review cases of children placed in out-of-home (foster) care. The establishment of and guidelines for Citizen Review Panels is detailed in Florida Statute 39.702. Members are recruited from the community and provided thorough training in dependency laws, departmental policies, and judicial procedures.

Each CRP will meet one day a month to review five to eight cases. The panel will review the case plan and progress made, address the safety and appropriateness of the child’s current placement, identify barriers to permanency, and make recommendations regarding the case to the court. Panels consider not only the documentation presented to them, but also input from case managers, parents, therapists, caregivers, relatives, and other persons who have pertinent information regarding the child or the case.

The implementation of Central Florida CRPs will not only ensure that children involved in each case move toward permanency expediently, but it will also stimulate continual improvement inthe provision of services and help ease the excess workload on the court system.

Interested in further information and applying?

For Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties, contact:
Julie Stephenson at julies@fosteringourfuture.info
Bonnie Ferguson at bonnie@fosteringourfuture.info

Training

  • training foundations

    Foundations for Strong Families & Supportive Communities

    27-Hour State-Approved Pre-Service Training via Zoom for families who would like to be licensed foster parents in the state of Florida.
  • advocacy

    A Seat at the Table: Advocacy Training

    a free training event offered twice a year focused on foster and adoptive families' advocacy and legal rights and open to caregivers, case managers, and agencies. These continuing education training hours qualify towards annual foster home licensing renewals.
  • in service training

    Fostering Our Future Academy

    Each month, FOF offers a competency-based, professional in-service training program for foster/adoptive families and child welfare professionals. Training hours qualify for annual foster home licensing renewal.

Foster Family Testimonials

The Christian-based classes with Fostering Our Future offer an enriching experience for individuals interested in becoming foster parents. Having previously fostered for fifteen years as well as co-training traditional MAPP/Pride classes, Fostering Our Future is truly a remarkable approach.

-- The Ludwig Family

We felt so defeated in the mainstream classes and support systems until we found Fostering Our Future, Julie, Bill, and their team. The classes brought real-life situations and principles, tangible advice, and allowed us to work at our pace with weekly gatherings to connect, share, review, ask questions, and have meaningful discussions. 

-- The Griffith Family

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-- Sandra Fae, Pastor
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