Foster Care Review, Inc.

Facilitate, Advocate, Innovate, Evaluate

aka Florida Foster Care Review   |   Miami, FL   |  https://www.fostercarereview.org/get-involved/donate/

Mission

Florida Foster Care Review (FFCR) harnesses the power of community volunteers and organizations to advance the safety, stability and success of abused and neglected children, youth and young adults by connecting them to essential services, healthy relationships and forever families. FFCR's Citizen Review Panel (CRP) Program works with trained volunteers who facilitate comprehensive review hearings of children in foster care and identify unmet needs. Through the CRP's recommended orders, FFCR advocates for abused children to receive critical services that promote stability and well being. Our Permanency Roundtable (PRT) Program engages community partners in strategic action planning for youth lingering in foster care, creating lifelong families and healthy adult connections.

Ruling year info

1989

Executive Director

Ms. Candice L. Maze, JD

Main address

Miami-Dade County Children's Courthouse 155 NW 3rd Street, Suite 4338

Miami, FL 33128 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

65-0118944

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our community’s abused and neglected children have suffered inconceivable harm. Although removed from their home for their safety, traumatized children often experience secondary harm caused by the abrupt separation from their family, friends and community. Some are then abused by substitute caregivers, creating a seemingly endless barriers to a successful, stable life. To make matters more difficult, Miami-Dade’s child welfare system serves approx. 3,000 children with case management turnover of +/- 45% yearly. The system lacks the capacity to both ensure that children’s critical needs are met and engage in the intense process required for permanency. As children stay in care longer, their probability of negative adult outcomes -- homelessness, poverty, illness, criminal justice system involvement, unplanned pregnancies, etc. -- goes up. Key to breaking this cycle is meeting their needs while in care, minimizing time in care, and ensuring exit from care to stable, loving adults.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Citizen Review Panel (CRP) Program

Florida Foster Care Review (FFCR) was incorporated in 1989 to ensure successful implementation of the Citizen Review Panel (CRP). Citizen review—using trained, independent volunteers to review cases of children in foster care—helps ensure that abused and neglected children are safe and receiving needed services. FFCR recruits, trains and supervises 70-80 volunteers who each serve on one of 12-15 panels monthly. The panels identify children’s needs and then make recommendations that protect and further children’s well-being.

FFCR’s staff and volunteers scour medical reports, analyze academic performance, and determine whether children’s caregivers are treating them well and providing necessary resources/support. Based on the findings, the CRP makes recommendations that, once signed by a judge, become mandatory court orders with which agencies must comply. The CRP’s recommendations enable FFCR to recommend judicial actions and social services, and to maintain pressure on child welfare agencies to ensure that children attain permanent, safe families as soon as possible. Thanks to orders initiated by the CRP, a girl with an undiagnosed hearing impairment might receive treatment, a teenager with a substance abuse problem might get counseling, or a child might be provided with tutoring to overcome an educational obstacle.

The CRP Program is one of only two such programs in the State of Florida. In 2018-19, FFCR’s citizen review panels conducted 658 review hearings for 423 children, identifying over 4,000 unmet health, educational, psychological and/or permanency needs of children and their families. This was made possible by our 91 trained, dedicated volunteers who contributed 3,100 hours of service worth nearly $300,000. During FY 2019-20, we anticipate conducting 650-700 CRP review hearings for 400-450 children.

Population(s) Served

Based on a national model developed by Casey Family Programs, FFCR’s PRT Program is the only one of its kind in Miami. For each child, FFCR staff convene and coordinate a team composed of child welfare practitioners and community stakeholders, work with the team during a 2-hour initial roundtable to develop the child’s permanency action plan, and facilitate monthly strategy sessions to achieve goals. Between sessions, team members complete assigned tasks, which may include contacting key people from the youth’s past, linking the youth with therapy and more. The team format allows individual resources to be pooled and leveraged.

To build on program success, FFCR layered in Youth-Centered Roundtables (YCRTs) and Family Finding. The YCRT, held after the initial PRT, empowers older youth to identify and access their networks, thereby increasing their probability of connecting with a “forever family.” In 2017, to launch our Family Finding Initiative, key FFCR staff were trained in Kevin Campbell’s Family Finding model, which employs specific strategies to identify relatives and potential supportive adults. Activities include use of the National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness’ Seneca Search database to find extended family; reengaging significant actors who may not have been in a position to stay connected or provide support previously; conducting a “file dig” to literally excavate people from the youth’s past; network mapping with the youth and/or relatives, and more. Our Outreach Specialist takes the lead, engaging with up to 30 individuals for each child.

Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, 92 of 140 youth served benefitted from Family Finding. From July 2014 through June 30, 2019, PRT teams have created a forever family or a lifelong permanent connection for 66% of the 108 youth who have exited the program -- an outstanding result we attribute to our pioneering multi-layered approach.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

FFCR seeks to provide children and youth in foster care with a powerful safety net - the Citizen Review Panel - that ensures their needs will be met while in care, and that they won't fall through the cracks due to an overburdened, under-resourced system. Through our Permanency Roundtable Program, we work to move children and youth toward a "forever family" or lifelong adult connection as fast as possible, thus reducing their time in care and the probability of aging out. At the same time, FFCR works to build knowledge about both individual obstacles and systemic barriers commonly faced by children in foster care. We have regularly used this information to address specific concerns, such as the unique needs of youth with disabilities aging out of foster care, the adolescent health issues of foster youth ages 13-17, and foster youth's experiences regarding sexual identity. We advocate for a child welfare system that is more responsive to the needs of the children and families it serves.

FFCR harnesses the power of community volunteers to advance the safety, well-being and long-term stability of abused and neglected children and young adults in the foster care system. To accomplish our mission, we facilitate volunteer-led case review hearings that identify and address thousands of unmet needs each year. We also convene and lead teams of professionals and volunteers who strategically and systematically pursue lifelong families for children and youth otherwise destined to age out of foster care. Through our newsletter, social media, participation in/hosting of conferences and events, policy advocacy, and ongoing trainings for child welfare practitioners and community stakeholders, we provide thought leadership -- sharing best practices, developing new solutions, and advocating for system change.

FFCR’s nearly 30 years of implementing the CRP have given us a thorough understanding of the challenges facing abused and neglected children and youth, and the ways in which the child welfare system both helps and hinders those for whom it cares. At the same time, FFCR has learned firsthand the practices necessary to facilitate an effective, collaborative process. In 2013, our board decided to leverage FFCR’s years of experience in order to do more for children in need. Through the PRT Program, we combined and leveraged FFCR's unique knowledge bank and long-standing child welfare partnerships to address one of the urgent needs seen all too often during CRP hearings -- the need for permanency. Our staff’s combined experience exemplifies not only FFCR’s ability to perform the proposed services, but also our ties to the community and depth of knowledge about the challenges facing Miami-Dade children and youth in foster care. Our staff is highly reflective of the community that we serve.

The CRP Program is one of two such programs in Florida. In 2018-19, FFCR’s citizen review panels conducted 658 review hearings for 423 children, identifying over 4,000 unmet health, educational, psychological and/or permanency needs. This was made possible by 91 trained, dedicated volunteers who contributed 3,100 hours of service. During FY 2019-20, we anticipate 650-700 CRP review hearings for 400-450 children. FFCR's PRT Program is one of a kind in Miami-Dade and is believed to be the only one nationwide combining the PRT model with Family Finding -- specific strategies to identify and cultivate relationships with potential supportive adults. Implemented in July 2014, FFCR’s PRT Program has served 218 youth from inception to June 30, 2019. To date, 66% of youth have achieved permanency through reunification, adoption or permanent guardianship, or via a lifelong connection to a supportive adult. The program’s outstanding outcomes have fueled demand; we currently have a waitlist for enrollment.

Financials

Foster Care Review, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Foster Care Review, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/2/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lynne Kafka, Esq.

Attorney

Term: 2016 -

Michelle Weber, MBA

Bilzin Sumberg

Kate Callahan, Ph. D

The Huntington Consulting Group

Christopher Hutchins, CPA

Kaufman Rossin

David McWilliams

Self-employed

Melanie Merriman, Ph. D, MBA

Touchstone Consulting

Josh Moody

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Adam Sendzischew, MBA, CFP®, TEP

Jones Lowry

Christopher Varca, Esq.

MJB Design Group - Global Security Alarm

Lynne Kafka, Esq.

Attorney

MaryAnne Lukacs, Esq.

Florida Supreme Court

Alex Rattner

Cross Keys Capital

Cameron Caprio, CPA, CFP ®

Private Wealth Management

Jade Caprio

Actuarial Analyst

Jennifer Gross

Brown Harris Stevens

Martha Garcia

Florida Blue

MaryAnne Lukacs, Esq.

Florida Supreme Court

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No