Vol. 13, No. 2 • May 2009

We're Working Hard for Your Family!

by Stacey Darbee, President, NC Foster and Adoptive Parent Association

Awakening the Aloha Spirit!
The NC Foster and Adoptive Parent Association’s 11th annual educational conference, Awakening the Aloha Spirit…Changing Tides, Changing Lives, was held at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel on May 1-3, 2009.

What a grand success! Those in attendance learned many ways to engage the Aloha spirit (humility, affection, perseverance, unity, modesty, harmony, patience) and contribute to their parenting skills and family. Along with 12 hours of intense training the participants had a great time playing NCFAPA Family Feud, vying for Tackiest Tourist Award, going on a Hawaiian Hunt, and celebrating at the Aloha Luau!

Special Recognition
During the conference the NCFAPA honored Karen McLeod, President and CEO of Child and Family Services Association-NC for her unmatched advocacy on behalf of children. Ms. McLeod has been the driving force behind legislative changes that have a huge, positive impact on children and on foster and adoptive families every day. Her strong support of NCFAPA helped inspire the legislature and the NC Division of Social Services to provide financial resources to our Association, which makes it possible for us to offer training, support, and advocacy statewide.

In recognition of these accomplishments, the Association has created the Karen McLeod Advocacy Award, which in future years it will bestow upon those who follow in Ms. McLeod’s considerable footsteps.

Advocacy on Your Behalf

Support of Youth in Transition. The NCFAPA is pleased to support the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children’s call for a study on youth transitioning out of foster care. This bill (Senate Bill 948 and House Bill 783) would authorize the study of the challenges youth in transition face in the areas of education, housing, health care, employment, incarceration, substance abuse, victimization, pregnancy, and homelessness. A study needs to be completed before action will be taken to support transitioning teens programmatically and monetarily. Please support these bills if called upon to make phone calls or send e-mail.

Legislative Awareness Day. NCFAPA is helping organize another Legislative Awareness Day to be held at the General Assembly on May 27, 2009. Several other organizations will join us as we visit representatives’ and senators’ offices to promote awareness of foster and adoption issues.

Impact of Budget Cuts
The economic problems facing our state, nation, and world have not left NCFAPA unscathed. In 2008-09 the Association sent board members to different counties and communities to prepare them to help support or start support groups or local associations. Our grant from the NC Division of Social Services allowed us the means to do this. Unfortunately, NCFAPA has also been affected by budget cuts and local activity of this kind will be at a minimum this year.

Despite this constraint, please continue to call upon us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. We will be actively pursuing other means to be able to support our mission and expand services to parents and families.

Please Join Us!
Our web site is constantly evolving. We completed all memberships, reservations, and registrations online for the conference. We are presently compiling an e-mail list we can use to send important news, updates and surveys. If you’d like to be included, go to www.ncfapa.org and fill out the very short application.

We’d love to have you become a member of NCFAPA. It’s never been easier. Just go to our web site www.ncfapa.org and join online!

Copyright 2009 Jordan Institute for Families