Contact us at:

Florida's Children First

(954)796-0860

geori.berman@floridaschildrenfirst.org  

1401 N. University DR, Suite 408

Coral Springs, FL 33071

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Legislative Advocacy

 

FYS identifies their legislative priorities and work to draft legislation, talking points, documents, and laws with Florida’s Children First to make legislative changes to the system. FYS does this through meeting with state legislators during Children’s Week, testifying on behalf of legislation, sitting on rule-making committees, and sharing their stories and experiences about the legislative items.   

 

Examples of FYS Legislation:

  • Independent Living Bill (SB 2114) impacted several existing laws including: Medicaid coverage to all youth aging out of care to age 21, new means for youth to open bank accounts and obtain driver’s licenses, and expanded eligibility for the Road to Independence.

  • Keeping Children Safe Act (FL Statute 39.0139) protects youth from unsupervised visits with parents or caregivers accused of sexually abusing them.

  • Children and Youth Cabinet Act (FL Statute 402.56) bringing together the head of every state department touching the lives of children with a mandate to hold public meetings and create improved and child focused public policy for children and youth

  • Right to an Education (SB 1128) removes barriers to school enrollment, clarifies who can make education decisions for foster children and assures the appointment of surrogate parents for children with disabilities.

  • Right to Records (SB 126) provides current and former foster youth and their caregivers with better access to records.

  • Quality Parenting Act (HB215) –ensuring normalcy for youth in care

  • Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act (SB 1036)-Extending Foster Care to the age of 21.

  • Keys to Independence 

 

 

Statewide Advocacy: FYS members identify their legislative priorities each year at their quarterly meeting. They rank these issues and decide what issues they want to focus their advocacy on around the state. Those priorities guide our advocacy work for the year.

 

Examples of Statewide Legislative Priorities (current and past):

  • Sibling Visitation

  • Group Home Reform 

  • Drivers Licenses

  • Expongement of Juvinile Records

  • Independent Living Rulemaking

  • Extended Foster Care

  • Normalcy

  • Legal representation for youth in care

  • Rights to education

  • Rights to Records

  • Funding Cuts

  • Child Safety

  • Healthcare

  • Psychotropic Medication

 

Additionally, FYS members sit on statewide committees. They offer insight regarding rule making, transition planning, procedures, and topics surrounding foster youth. FYS members offer the youth voice to guide practices to better serve the child welfare system.