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Archive for December, 2010

Governor Crist Names Alan Abramowitz to Head Florida’s Guardian Ad Litem Office

Governor Charlie Crist has appointed long-time Department of Children and Families program head and juvenile justice attorney Alan Abramowitz as executive director of the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office. Abramowitz will succeed Theresa Flury, for a term to run until December 8, 2013.

Abramowitz to head Florida GAL

Abramowitz to head Florida GAL

Currently, Abramowitz directs the statewide Family Safety Program Office within the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

“With 15 years of experience in social service and juvenile justice, Alan has continually worked to improve the lives of children who depend on the child welfare system,” Governor Crist said. “He is an effective and caring advocate for the young people of Florida, and I am confident the Guardian Ad Litem Program will excel under his leadership.”


Florida Bar News – Tracey McPharlin honored for child advocacy

Florida’s Children First honored child advocate and attorney Tracey McPharlin at its annual Palm Beach Child Advocate Awards Reception.

The event had approximately 100 attendees and raised more than $27,000, which will go toward FCF’s child advocacy efforts across the state.

McPharlin passed away just 10 days after the ceremony on November 6, 2010, in Ft. Lauderdale following a battle with cancer.

Read the entire Florida Bar News story here

Advocates: Florida No Fan of Foster Children, Facebook Tagging

December 27th, 2010   No Comments   Advocacy, Foster Care

FloridasChildrenFirstDid you know that kids in foster can’t be “tagged” in Facebook photos, or have their pictures published in the newspaper – even for good things. It’s not fair and it’s not normal.

Florida’s Children First works every day to make things more fair for children in the state’s system of care. This year, with the youth in Florida Youth SHINE, we will again push for broader “normalcy” reforms.

Will you help us? (more…)

Florida’s Children First Annual Child Advocate Awards Set for February

December 15th, 2010   No Comments   Advocacy, Fundraising & Support

Florida’s Children First (FCF), the statewide legal advocacy organization focused on protecting the legal rights of at-risk and foster care children, will hold its annual Child Advocate Awards and Reception fundraiser this coming February.

The event will be at the Tower Club on Thursday, February 24. It typically draws more than 300 prominent attorneys, child advocates, elected officials, judges, community and business leaders, and others concerned about the future of Florida’s children, especially abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth.

This past February, the event honored Mr. Jesse H. Diner, showcased several foster care success stories and raised $100,000 for the organization.

Leaders hope to match or beat the fundraising milestone – and awareness generated for the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“As President of the Florida Bar, Jesse was a true leader in advancing the rights of foster children and their legal representation in Florida,” said FCF President Howard Talenfeld. “This year, we hope to recognize another equally staunch advocate for children’s rights.”

To learn more, or to make a contribution, call 954-796-0860 or send an email to fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org.

Advocates, Attorneys: Effort to Extend Florida Foster Child Care to 21 Years a Good Idea

“Aging Out” of foster care might become a slower process for thousands of Florida foster care children, believe advocates, attorneys, guardians and other care givers.

The way the system works now, children turning 18 are forced to leave the foster care system. They’re left to handle unemployment, homelessness, pregnancy – even getting a driver license or earn their high school diploma – on their own.

Now, a proposal under development from the Florida Department of Children and Families may seek to extend foster care to age 21. According to the Fort Myers News-Press, the extension would “broaden access to pre-independent living services and extends adoption subsidies for teens.” It actually costs the system more to “age out” kids at 18 than to extend their assistance for a few more years.

The proposal would need Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s approval, and then find a sponsor in the Legislature. (more…)