Photo by Marissa Moss y - Eckerd Connects ?· Photo by Marissa Moss Meet Mario Age 17 “Bonafi de…

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  • August 2016 Volume 4, Issue 8

    Sept. 3 HCFPA Membership Meeting 10 am - 12 pm @ The Family Place, 9391 N Florida Ave.,Tampa, FL

    Childcare | $2 per child

    Aug. HCFPA Respite Program No respite in August

    Oct. 13 Foster Parent Appreciation Banquet 6:00 10:00 pm Embassy Suites, 3705 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612

    Photo by Marissa Moss


    Age 17

    Bonafi de sports fanatic

    Marios a charismatic, funny young man who makes friends with just about everyone he meets. His openness and friendly nature generally puts him in a position of leadership, which he takes on with confi dence, and this attribute is displayed most plainly on the football fi eld. Mario is a very talented athlete, and has aspirations of playing professionally one day. He also works hard in school and has seen a lot of improvement in his grades this past school year. Mario desires a strong male role model in his life, and hopes for a home with not only a father, but older brothers as well. He would prefer a family of the same race as him. Mario will thrive in a supportive, active home that will help to keep him on the right path and encourage his many abilities.



    To learn more about adoption, please visit:

    heartgallerytampabay.orgPhotos provided by: Childrens Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay

    Contact our Fostering Respect hotline if you have a problem or concern, and cannot get the matter resolved with the case manager or your FDS representative.

    P: (813) 541-8017 | E:

    Hillsborough County public schools are back in session for students as of August 10th. Education is one of the most important parts of a childs upbringing. As foster parents, we have the privilege of helping our youth get the most out of their education and their school experience. Below are a few tips from PBS Kids to help make the back to school transition a smooth one!

    Ease into the routineSwitching from summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid fi rst day of school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the fi rst day of school go much smoother.

    Feed their BelliesBreakfast is the most important meal of the day! Lets make sure our kids are fueled up and ready to learn! Hillsborough County schools provide free breakfast to all students, so even if theres a rush to get out the door, our kids can still get a nutritious breakfast.

    Make It FunMost kids dont jump for joy at the prospect of going back to school, but you can make some of the routine fun! For example, let your kids pick out their fi rst day of school outfi t, or let him/her decide what to have for breakfast and /or lunch. For the older kids, talk to them about the new adventures they will be having and the new friends they may make at school this year!

    Wishing you all a fun, prosperous school year, and hope you had a great summer!

  • Hillsborough County Family Partnership Alliance

    HCFPA meetings held the 1st Saturday of the month and the Respite Program is held the 3rd Saturday of the month at 10:00 am at The Family Place offi ce located at Eckerd Community Alternatives on the corner of Busch Blvd. and N. Florida Ave.

    Presidents Corner

    HCFPA Respite ProgramThere will be NO Respite for the month of August.

    Presidents Corner

    Hello HCFPA Families,

    As our children return to school I would like to encourage each of you to take an active role in your childs educational success and extracurricular activities. You being there and supporting their efforts makes a world of difference.

    I would like to welcome new members to the HCFPA family. Our membership consists of foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative caregivers. HCFPA offers members support, great trainings, the clothing closet, food pantry, fun free events, a monthly Respite (baby sitting), advocacy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot and other wonderful items for your family.

    I would like to thank the HCFPA board for all they do for our membership. HCFPA is run by an all volunteer board of foster and adoptive parents who donate time and energy to make HCFPA a great alliance. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact a board member.

    We aim to keep you informed regarding the many changes in the System of Care.

    God Bless,

    Kimberly HernandezHillsborough County Family Partnership Alliance, President

    Thank to to Small Cakes for their generous donations of delicious cup cakes to HCFPA.

  • HCFPA Board of Directors

    HCFPA Food PantryHCFPA and community members can receive HCFPA Food Pantry donations once per month after they self-attest that they have a need for food. Please complete your food pantry request forms and submit them when you come in during the Food Pantrys hours of operation.

    Volunteers are welcome on the 1st Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to help prepare the food distribution. This institution is an equal opportunity program.

    Pantry Hours2nd and 4th Friday

    of each month 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    HCFPA Board of Directors


    SecretaryEducation and Training

    Gifts in KindFood Pantry

    Jill Tyree

    ParliamentarianMershell Godbolt

    TreasurerWes Binder

    Clothing Closet ChairMembership Chair

    Kathryn Melendez


    Childcare ChairEricka Shumpert

    Relative Caregiver ChairMissy Saffold


    Respite ChairEmily Binder

    Event ChairKaren Queen

    Note: Clothing Closet will be closed on July 1, 2016 for the 4th of July weekend.

    Clothing Closet Hours1st Friday 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.2nd Friday 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.3rd Friday 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.4th Friday 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.5th Friday 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

    HCFPA Family Clothing Closet HCFPAs Family Clothing Closet serves infants, children, teens and adults. We thank Eckerd Community Alternatives for their partnership with HCFPA Family Clothing Closet. Please help us support this wonderful resource by donating your gently used or new clothing and shoes. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kathryn Melendez at (813) 541-6623.

    Membership Applications: HCFPA Membership applications are available online at are also available before every monthly meeting and during the Clothing Closet operation hours.

  • We would like to address our recent change in leadership, as well as the recent media coverage surrounding the unusually high numbers of Hillsborough County children being removed from their homes, and the challenges this has created in fi nding appropriate placements for some of these youths.

    Rachel Smith has resigned as the Executive Director from Eckerd Community Alternatives | Hillsborough. On behalf of foster children, we thank Rachel for her passion and years of service with our agency. Going forward, please direct all correspondence to Nicole Lefever, Director of Licensing.

    Eckerd Kids has been working diligently over the past few weeks to develop solutions that allow all children the opportunity to succeed, regardless of where they live. Some of the measures already put in place include:

    Implemented daily calls with the leadership of our lead agency, our corporate quality department, and the leadership of case management organizations, to address the

    placement issue and to confi rm each morning that all children were in identifi ed placements as planned the night before.

    Conducting a 100 percent review of all children placed in a foster home in which an overcapacity waiver was required.

    Securing an agreement with the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to take any child who doesnt have a placement regardless of their acuity level. In addition, the County has agreed to use two open cottages as a residential facility for foster children.

    By working collaboratively we can work to address the causes that make it more likely for a child to end up in foster care in Hillsborough County. Please remember to call our Fostering Respect hotline with any problems or concerns at 813-541-8017.

    Thank you for your continued support as we continue to develop solutions to help stabilize the system of care.

    W E N E E D Y O U R H E L P !

    No se discriminar ni se le negar a ninguna persona, por su raza, color, religin, nacionalidad, sexo, edad o incapacidad, la participacin o los benefi cios de cualquier programa o actividad que reciba benefi cios de ayuda fi nanciera federal y que sea administrado por el Eckerd Community Alternatives System of Care. Se pondrn a disposicin servicios de interpretacin de idiomas y seas sin costo alguno para el cliente.

    No person shall, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefi ts of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination under any program or activity receiving or benefi ting from federal fi nancial assistance and administered by Eckerd Community Alternatives System of Care. Foreign language and sign language interpreters will be made available at no charge to the client.

    To include foster parent stories and information in a future newsletter, forward to: (813) 225-1105, ext. 1197

    W E

    Congratulations!Foster Parent Anniversaries

    Licensed in July 2016

    Avee & Natalie Edwards Bernadette James Corrie Benfi eld & Albert Pellegrino Debra & Jeffrey Salce Emme & David Moore Jessica Colon Jonel Crockett Lindcy Garrett Lourdes Delgado Marisol Perez Nicole & Jonathon Kitchen Pamela Griffi n and Janet Dickinson Ruth & Reinaldo Torres Sharon Velez Susan Harmison

    Date Thomas & Maria Slowey 8/1 Martha & Eduardo Hernandez 8/4 Nichola Easy 8/6 Deborah Munoz & John McDowell 8/8 Justine & George Russum 8/11 Christene & Milton Clifton 8/12 Patti Sue Wiggins 8/12 Alice Burney 8/13 Amy Quezon & Mathew Wilde 8/15 Keshia & Paul Drayton 8/15 Lynnette & John Crawford 8/20 Deborah Lekenta 8/22 Jessie & Brian Maddux 8/24 Deionne Cleveland 8/25 Kristen & Adam Gilley 8/26 Nora Dowling 8/26 Renaye Wiggins-Montgomery 8/27 Anna & Louis Weaver 8/28 Cynthia Mann 8/29 Sue Ellen & Jo Anne Abraham 8/30

    Eckerd Kids is looking for those willing to commit to children in their home, providing them with temporary loving care and serving as mentors to the childs family. If you have a friend or family member that has room in their home and heart, please refer them to call Eckerds Foster Parent Recruitment Line or visit our website at:

    P: (866) 233-0790 (toll-free) | Foster Parent Orientations are held every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at the Family Place, 9391 North Florida Ave. Tampa, FL

    Dear Stakeholders,