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Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary and Legal Needs of Children Commission Among Honorees at Florida’s Children First Miami Event June 12

May 2nd, 2013   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events

Florida’s Children First (FCF), the statewide advocacy organization focused on protecting the legal rights of at-risk and foster care children, will recognize and honor Miami-Dade child advocates at an awards reception and fundraising event. The event will be held Wednesday, June 12, 2013, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the law offices of Carlton Fields in Miami.

FCF Executive Director Christina Spudeas, along with FCF President and South Florida children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld, will lead the event, which is expected to draw child advocates, elected officials, judges and community and business leaders.

The Miami event will also serve as the official venue for FCF and the Law Offices of Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez to introduce the Crossover to Justice Project and EJW fellow Hasti Barahmand, Esq. Sponsored by The Florida Bar Foundation and Greenberg Traurig, the Crossover to Justice Project will assist crossover youth with legal representation in dependency matters as well as unmet civil legal needs with an emphasis on educational services. This project aims to empower and foster the voice of crossover youth, to create and sustain a working network of resources and advocates who provide support and accountability to crossover youth, and to promote a child’s access to counsel in dependency proceedings.

Among the Miami 2013 “Child Advocate of the Year” honorees is Secretary Wansley Walters of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Secretary Walters pioneered juvenile justice services in Miami-Dade County. As head of DJJ, Secretary Walters’ objective is to make sure the right youth receive the right service at the right time, continuing the state’s downward trend in juvenile delinquency.

Also being recognized is the original commission of The Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children. This group was formed by Bar President Edith Osman in 2002 to issue a report and recommendation on improving the legal representation for children in the state of Florida. Chaired by Judge Sandy Karlan, it composed of leadership from the GAL, judges, legislators, and dependency experts. Along with Edith Osman, Florida Bar Past Presidents Miles McGrane, Edward Blumberg and American Bar Association Past President Stephen Zack will also be in attendance.

A $100 contribution is suggested, with all proceeds to benefit Florida’s Children First. To RSVP, call 954-796-0860 or send an email to fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org. Carlton Fields is located at 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 4200, Miami, FL 33131.

About Florida’s Children First:
Florida’s Children First is the leading statewide child advocacy program, serving as a “watchdog” agency, holding DCF and others accountable, and helping them do a better job at protecting the children who need their services. A nonprofit organization, FCF seeks meaningful and sustainable improvements in all child-serving systems, with a special emphasis on the foster care system. The organization is based in Coral Springs and has offices in Tampa and Jacksonville, and works all over the state.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Friedman of Boardroom Communications
Office: 904-641-3226 Cell Phone: 561-706-4585

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