Vol. 12, No. 1• November 2007

From the NC Foster and Adoptive Parent Association's President

by Stacey Darbee

Upcoming NCFAPA Conference
NCFAPA is excited to invite you to our 10th annual conference, which will take place on April 25-27, 2008. SAVE THE DATE!

This year’s theme will be Shining the Spotlight—A Decade of Dedication! The conference will be held at Twin City Quarter in Winston-Salem. This venue consists of the Benton Convention Center, the Marriott, and Embassy Suites. All three connect, allowing conference goers to move from one to the other without going outside.

We have secured 200 rooms at special low rates: Marriott rooms are $99 per night, while one bedroom suites at Embassy Suites are $119 per night. Make your reservations now. Just go to <www.NCFAPA.org> and select the “Reserve Your Room Now.”

The NCFAPA Planning Team has done a great job and we have an absolutely amazing conference planned! There will be dozens of workshops, fantastic general sessions, and a very different kind of game night! We’re also bringing back a night to dress up, coupled with entertainment surprises. You won’t want to miss it! Visit our web site soon for more information and registration instructions.

The 2008 NCFAPA membership drive is now underway. Join in October, November, or December 2007 and receive free registration to the April conference. We listened to our members and have tried to make joining simple: just go to our website, fill out the membership form, and pay for membership using Paypal.

Board of Directors
Congratulations to newly elected (and reelected) board members:

  • Region 1—Wanda Douglas, Co-Wefa Lyda (historian), Tony Douglas, Crystal Merritt
  • Region 2—Melissa Sink (VP), Paul Roodhuyzen (Treasurer), Janet Martin
  • Region 3—Shelly Humphrey
  • Region 4—Aaryn Fazakerly (VP), Judy Carroll, Jimmie Graham Jr., Ruth Moody, L’Sonja Parker, Janice Nichols

Advocacy
Good news! NCFAPA advocated strongly throughout the year for the following legislation, which became NC law in 2007:

Youths aging out of foster care and youths with special needs adopted from foster care after age 12 now have access to funding to help them attend public colleges and community colleges in NC. What’s covered?

  • Tuition/fees normally assessed a student carrying the same academic workload as determined by the institution, including costs for rental or purchase of equipment, materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study
  • An allowance for books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses, including a reasonable allowance for the documented rental or purchase of a personal computer, for a student attending the institution on at least a half-time basis, as determined by the college
  • An allowance (as determined by the college) for room and board costs incurred by the student

To support this new law, funds have been appropriated for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. No news yet on how to apply—we’ll keep you posted.

Effective October 1, 2007, children aging out of foster care are eligible to receive Medicaid through their 21st birthday. Includes:

  • Medicaid coverage to independent foster care adolescents, ages 18, 19, and 20 regardless of their assets, resources, or income levels

Adoption tax credit

  • An individual who is allowed a federal adoption tax credit for the taxable year is also allowed a NC tax credit
  • The credit is equal to 50% of the amount of the federal tax credit
  • Effective for the tax year beginning Jan. 1, 2007; it will expire after the 2012 tax year unless it is extended

Support
In 2007-2008 NCFAPA will focus on helping develop, strengthen, rejuvenate, or jump start local support groups and/or associations. We would like to offer your local or county group extra training and support to help you succeed. Please call our office (866/623-7248) and leave a message; we will get back to you as soon as we can. We’re eager to help you maintain your association or to develop a brand new group. We look forward to working with you!

November Is Adoption Awareness Month
If you are an adoptive parent you already know what an impact adoption has had on your children and your entire family. You are the most powerful voice that belongs to the face of adoption. You are the strongest recruitment ad that there is! North Carolina has hundreds of children who are legally free for adoption. Please make a special effort during November to speak with neighbors, friends, co-workers, and your faith community about all the children in need of a special, loving family to call home.

Remember—Kids Can’t Wait!

Copyright 2007 Jordan Institute for Families