2015 Networking Conference "BRIDGING THE GAP"



CAS in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Human Resources presents "Bridging The Gap" , an ILP conference for DHR workers and providers. County slot allotments have been sent to all County Directors.Make sure you complete the mileage form and the w9 tax form – the links can be found on the registration front page. If you have questions about the conference, please contact Nikki Freeman at 205-943-5356. If you have issues registering, please contact Nolan Goodman at 205-943-5344. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference. To register for the 2015 Networking Conference CLICK HERE.
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The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act
Throughout 2013, multiple members of Congress proposed multiple ways to improve foster care with their own individual bills. In an effort to work together, Congress agreed to make one new bill, combining parts of the old ones. H.R. 4980, sponsored by Representative Dave Camp, has several parts and many important new rules to help foster youth everywhere in the United States. Most importantly, these new rules were a result of conversations with foster youth.
Yep, you heard it: lawmakers heard your voice and are making improvements to the foster care system as a result.

Some important parts of the bill:

  • Youth Rights: States are required to provide any youth age 14 or older with a list of their rights, as well as a signed acknowledgement that the youth received the list.
  • Prudent Parenting: New requirements for “prudent parenting” standards (this means states will make plans to allow foster parents and group homes, instead of just caseworkers or agencies, to decide whether a youth can participate in age appropriate activities like sports or other extra curricular activities).
  • Normalcy: For older youth, the ability to participate in “normal”, age appropriate activities must be discussed at the youth’s case planning meetings; Congress has also given money to pay for these activities starting in 2020.
  • Case Planning: Starting at age 14, youth will be given the opportunity to become involved in the development of their case plan and transition plan; youth will also have the option to invite two people of their choice to attend planning meetings.
  • Preventing Long Term Foster Care: Discourages the use of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) as a permanency option for youth; requires states to provide more evidence to the court that aging out is the best option for older youth in care.
  • Documents when exiting care: Youth must be provided a copy of birth certificate, social security card, drivers license or state ID, health insurance and medical records.
  • Tracking Disrupted Adoptions: Requires states to track disrupted and dissolved adoptions and guardianships.
  • Sex Trafficking Prevention: Requires states to track the sexual exploitation of foster youth and youth who runaway and/or are missing from care; increases training requirements for those who work with youth to identify sex trafficking as it occurs.
  • Adoptions: Makes adoptions and guardianships easier for families revising incentives for those families.
Here is a link to the bills text

This bill could not have been possible without the support from both Democrat and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. To see who co-sponsored the bill click here.
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Walk a Mile: JJ's Story of Foster Care


JJ talks to Walk a Mile about being in foster care.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes is a 1 mile family-oriented walk that will be held in Oklahoma City Bricktown and Tulsa on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 9 -11AM.

The purpose of the walk is to promote AWARENESS and RESPONSE to the crisis faced by Oklahoma's 9,000+ Foster Children due to the shortage of good foster homes and lack of community involvement.

Participants are asked to bring a suitcase to pull or carry during the walk - symbolic of the many moves Foster Children endure due to the shortage of foster homes. After the walk the suitcases may be donated to Oklahoma's Foster Children, who often have only a trash bag to use for their personal belongings.

Organizations that serve foster children and families will be present to provide information on ways the community can get involved through praying, volunteering, or becoming a foster or adoptive family.

This event is free, and open to everyone. Participation is free, but registration is required. To register please visit the Walk a Mile in My Shoes website at www.walkamilefostercareevent.com.
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Drugging our kids

For the past four months, the Bay Area News Group has been documenting the alarming use of psychiatric medications in California's foster care system and the impact on thousands of vulnerable kids who suffer the consequences.
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Reflections On Aging Out of Foster Care

 
It's a little weird and lonely having an apartment for the first time after growing up in group homes. Josh Mendoza and Katrena Wingo of Tampa, Florida offers their thoughts on living alone. This NPR audio slideshow features photos by Melissa Lyttle.

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Dream Council Meeting Rescheduled!!!

 
The Dream Council Meeting scheduled for January 17, 2015 has been rescheduled to January 24, 2015.  The time of 10:00-2:00 will remain the same.
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From Foster Care To Freshman Year


By the time she aged out of foster care, Jasmine Uqdah had spent nearly half her life in the system. On a summer day in 2008, Uqdah grabbed her duffel bag and two small garbage bags, and she stuffed everything she owned inside. To read this story Click Here.
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From Talladega to NYC: Motell Foster tells his story


A young man tells his story of going from being homeless on the streets of Chicago to living at the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama, to being accepted into the Tisch Graduate School of Acting and the forces that have shaped his life so far. This speech was filmed at the University of Alabama's First Scholars recognition program in March, 2014
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RENTAL HOUSING TOPICS AND RESOURCES


Most of us have faced difficult times that make it challenging to meet our financial obligations. Sometimes a loss of income, an unfortunate setback or mismanagement of money puts us in a position where we get behind in our rent or utilities. Rent is usually our largest single bill and one of the most important since it is what keeps a roof over our head. If there are times when we can’t pay our rent or are at-risk of getting behind, there are ways to avoid eviction. Remember, evictions are reflected in our credit reports and will impact our ability to rent other apartments as well as make other purchases in the future. To read more on this article from Foster Care Alumni of America Click Here.
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FosterU!!!

Foster Care od Success is pleased to announce the launch of FosterU, a national movement of foster youth, supportive adults and professionals, policy makers, philanthropists and emerging voices within higher education working together to help our nation’s foster youth as they enter adulthood.  To get more information Click Here.
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