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CFS Team Works to Enhance Resiliency for Children and Youth in Foster Care
Sunday, March 11, 2001 The AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System) states 560,000 children were in foster care nationally in 1998. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, between 9,500 and 10,000 children are in foster care each month in the state of Florida. Some have been there only a few days, while others have been there as many as four years, and some their whole lives. These children, of all ages and from all backgrounds, bring emotional, and sometimes physical scars that don't go away. For many, it is a struggle to heal, not only from their reasons for being removed from their homes, but also from the removal itself.
CFS Helps Develop Model to Engage Urban Families
Saturday, March 3, 2001 In an effort to help at-risk children and their families develop skills for improving mental health and educational outcomes, CFS staff members Kathy Armstrong and Mario Hernandez, along with USF developmental pediatrician Jim Scott have secured funding from the Casey Foundation for Families are First Teachers: A Demonstration Project for Engaging Urban Families to Support Infants and Young Children with Challenging Behaviors. Children from six weeks to five years of age will be served at Luther Village, a subsidized neighborhood childcare center located within a Hillsborough County neighborhood commonly referred as "Suitcase City." In this area, many families face the challenges of high poverty, low employment opportunities, drug abuse, crime, and a lack of transportation.
CFS's Reaching Out Together Reaches Goal!
Friday, February 9, 2001 Last summer, the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council provided funding for CFS to help increase the number of service providers for people with developmental disabilities in the Tampa Bay area. Under section 1915 (c) of the Social Security Act, Federal regulations permit medicaid home and community based service waiver programs to serve the elderly, persons with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental retardation or mental illness. States are afforded the flexibility to develop community-based treatment alternatives such as case management, homemaker/home health aide services, personal care services, adult day health, habilitation, and respite care at costs no higher than that of institutional care. This allows individuals to preserve their independence and ties to family and friends. With the new waiver regulations in effect, the number of persons served has doubled, and has greatly increased the need for additional service providers.
CFS Heads Analysis Group for Children's Board
Friday, February 2, 2001 Research has confirmed that caregiver interactions with young children - and the experiences they provide them - greatly impact the child's emotional development, learning skills, and how they function later in life. Sadly, many children in Hillsborough County, as elsewhere, are exposed to stressful conditions during this critical period of infancy to preschool when brain development is rapid and most vulnerable to the environmental influences such as family instability, poor neighborhoods, family and community violence, substa nce abuse and mental illness.
CARD Sites Come Together With Their Constituency
Friday, February 2, 2001 The CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) eighth annual conference for people with autism, deaf-blindness and related challenges was held January 12-14 in Fort Lauderdale. Co-sponsored by Florida's CARD sites, Florida Outreach Project for Individuals with Deaf-Blindness, and the Autism Society of Florida, the conference continues to grow, and this year 600 attendees were provided information on state-of-the-art practices in areas promoting inclusive life-styles.
Children's Board of Hillsborough County Sends Change-Makers Participants to Community Development Workshop
Wednesday, January 10, 2001 The Community Partnership Center at the University of Tennessee conducted a workshop November 30 &endash; December 3 in Knoxville Tennessee for practitioners, researchers, and community organizers wanting to build public participation in community development, community youth development, as well as community health and environmental projects. The Children's Board of Hillsborough County provided funding so that CFS's Ricardo Contreras and six Plant City residents who currently participate in the evaluation team of the Change-Makers project were able to participate. Change-Makers is a Plant City training program which seeks to improve social support networks among families involved in the children's mental health delivery system.
US DOE Helps DARES Support Pasco Schools
Tuesday, January 9, 2001 DARES (The Division of Applied Research and Educational Support) has teamed up with Pasco County Schools and the Family Network on Disabilities to develop a model that will help increase the amount and the quality of parental participation in the school's processes of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). FBA is a process for describing environmental influences on behavior of professionals and caregivers, and guides the development of effective and efficient behavior support plans. It is the foundation of positive behavioral support, representing a preferred practice for all students, especially those with problem behaviors.
CFS Completes Evaluation of Medicaid Services for Children's Mental Health
Monday, January 1, 2001 In the last ten years, as the importance of the Medicaid program has increased within the mental health system in Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) has introduced a number of initiatives designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Medicaid program.
CFS Looks at Programs for Girls of Pinellas County
Friday, November 10, 2000 During the early 1990's, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) began to notice that things were changing within their system. A growing number of females were being admitted to detention facilities, placed on community control, and committed to the DJJ throughout Florida. As departmental policy, programs and funding had traditionally focused on the issues and needs of delinquent males, very few programs were in existence for females. It became necessary for the DJJ to focus on the needs of girls within their system, and in 1997 they received federal funding through an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Challenge Grant to launch the Girls Initiative statewide.
Summit Brings Together Community & USF
Tuesday, October 10, 2000 The University of South Florida's Collaborative for Children, Families and Communities will sponsor a summit on Monday, November 6th from 1-6:30pm at the University's Tampa campus.
CFS Attends Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health: Developing a National Agenda
Tuesday, October 10, 2000 At the request of the US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, over 300 professionals, researchers, advocates, parents, and youth gathered in Washington DC, September 18 & 19, to develop an action plan to improve the mental health of children in this country. CFS Chair Bob Friedman and Lynn Pedraza were among the presenters at the conference while additional staff members Al Duchnowski, Mary Evans, and Krista Kutash were facilitators/recorders at break-out groups convened to develop concrete action steps that the Surgeon General can advocate for in his federal leadership role.
CFS's Good Work Results in Renewals and New Support!
Tuesday, October 10, 2000 Starting this summer, a similar approach in Texas helped to create a partnership with CFS and Texas A&M University. In July, federal funding from the Office of Rural Health Policy was provided to three universities to create general health research centers. The Southwest Rural Health Research Center at Texas A&M University was selected to conduct research on access to health issues for the Latino population. Their proposal, consisting of six projects, includes one proposed by CFS's Ricardo Contreras and Marlynn May of Texas A&M, entitled Community Outreach and Social Support: Promotora Programs on the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Florida's Positive Behavioral Support Project Has Busy Year
Sunday, September 10, 2000 Hopefully, as Florida's Positive Behavioral Support Project (FPBSP) continues to expand, teachers, related services personnel, administrators, and family members will receive the support they need to address the challenging behaviors students bring in today's classrooms.
New Program for Parents Results from Community THINKing
Saturday, September 9, 2000 What is the day like for parents of children who suffer from serious emotional and behavioral disturbances? How are they affected? The Department of Child and Family Studies' Eloise Boterf, mother of two children with special needs, knows too well. "The whole family is under strain as exhausted parents devote so much energy to one child," she said, "never getting a break themselves, and unable to give sufficient attention to other children. It is difficult to find a babysitter, and even more difficult to find and maintain good jobs when both childcare centers and schools require parents to remove their child on a regular basis."
Consortium for Child Welfare Studies Is Off to a Busy Start
Tuesday, August 8, 2000 The new Consortium for Child Welfare Studies (CCWS) within the Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) was launched just six months ago, and already has been involved in much work. Committed to building community partnerships and engaging in projects which bridge mental health and child welfare systems of care, CCWS responds to community needs by developing, implementing, and evaluating systemic interventions. CCWS is already under contract with three agencies.

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