Hats Off!

Would you like to give a Hats Off for outstanding service to children and families?

Submit your nomination here.

Hat's Off to Faye, from HFC's Training Department!

Hat's Off to Faye, from HFC's Training Department!

I’d like to give a Hats Off to Faye. I requested something form her via email and she got it to me within seconds. I really appreciated her quick response.

Tonya Lockamy  | Director of Information Management 

Hat's Off to Demi, from HFC's HR Department!

Hat's Off to Demi, from HFC's HR Department!

While Jackie was out, Demi took the lead and organized the community service event at Legal Aid.  We were assigned the task of beautifying the front and sides of the building via landscaping.  We raked, pulled, weeded and swept the area.  Well, I noticed that the back, side of the building had not been done.  Given I was late and everyone was wrapping up, I was very hesitant to suggest another area to tackle.  I showed the area to Demi, but stated that I would work on it by myself to allow the others to leave.  Demi wouldn’t hear of it.  She stated, “we are a team, so we will do everything as a team.”  I urged her not to mention it and began working on the area by myself.  To my surprise, a few minutes later, the whole team joined me in the back and started working to get it done.  We were all surprised that together we were able to knock it out in 15 minutes.  In fact, when we were done, someone else suggested working on another area around building.

 

I write all of this to highlight Demi’s great attitude and leadership abilities.  It was a great event and an enjoyable experience, which in no small part was attributable to our fearless leader, Demi Mendez.

Hat's Off to Angela & HFC's Placements Team!

Hat's Off to Angela & HFC's Placements Team!

Kudos to Angela and members of her team for staying up almost 24 hours to get two 17 year olds placed last night and this morning! We were not able to find a placement for the teens due to their high needs but Angela and her team showed commitment in making every effort possible to do so which included calls throughout the State.

Angela and team: I appreciate your “can-do attitude”, professionalism, diligence, hard work and commitment to the Placements Program and Heartland for Children.

Simply said…….”Beautiful”

-Vanessa McCottry, Heartland for Children

Hat's Off to Foster Parents, Mr. & Mrs. Brown!

Hat's Off to Foster Parents, Mr. & Mrs. Brown!

Tiffany Jones, a Case Manager for Child Protective Services in Mulberry, FL recently had some great things to say about some foster parents, the Browns, in Circuit 10!

Mr. & Mrs. Brown have been fostering children from one particular family since January of 2015 and have provided much-needed structure and stability for the children in their care.  One of the children placed in the Browns' home is improving in school, as Mrs. Brown takes as much time as is necessary—sometimes up to 3 hours a night—to assist the child with her homework.  Another child placed in their care is beginning to verbalize more—something he was not doing before he was placed in the Browns' home.

These foster parents continually go above and beyond what is expected.  One of the children recently celebrated her 6th birthday and mentioned that that she’d never had a party.  Mr. and Mrs. Brown went to great lengths to make sure she had not only one party, but two!  In addition, staff from both the children's school and daycare have mentioned to their case worker and the children's Guardian ad Litem the outstanding job that the Browns are doing.

"Often times these children come into care and they are being taken care of; however, being in child welfare for almost 10 years I have never witnessed anything like this." says Ms. Jones.  

Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Brown for your dedication to children and families in your community!  

 

 

Hat's Off to Adoption Specialist, Ashley Beckwith!

Hat's Off to Adoption Specialist, Ashley Beckwith!

Ashley Beckwith was a constant source of information and support during the two years and five months of our adoption journey. My husband and I completed the Adoption 101 (now MAPS) class in 2012. Ashley stayed in touch and available to us through the adoption newsletter and checking in via email. She was present at match meetings and adoption events. We finalized our adoption a month ago. I am finally a mother and I feel so thankful and blessed to have been able to work with Ashley through this process. Ashley, you are so dedicated and positive. It was a pleasure to work with you.

-Mary Thomson-Marin, Spanish and German Teacher, Winter Haven Senior High School 

Hat's Off to Licensing & Relicensing!

Hat's Off to Licensing & Relicensing!

While there are numerous accomplishments from the year, I’m going to highlight one in particular. Going into the 2013-2014 fiscal year, we set an aggressive stretch goal to grow our quality foster home network to 175 homes by licensing 62 new homes and keeping quality foster home retention high. 

I’m proud to share that our licensing and re-licensing team worked very hard and accomplished these goals. In fact, they licensed 63 new homes! 

Hat’s off and a huge “Thank you!” This helped us to move significantly towards out Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of growing our network of quality foster homes to 250 homes. With this kind of performance, we should be able to meet this BHAG within 3-4 years.

-Teri Saunders, CEO, Heartland for Children 

Hats Off to "Passport to Parenting" Graduate, Kelly Larrow!

Hats Off to

Hats Off to Kelly Larrow, 2014 Passport to Parenting graduate, for her valuable feedback on Heartland for Children's foster parent training!

It was so valuable to hear the stories and anecdotes. They took 'fostering' from theoretical, a mental exercise, to something I could imagine myself living.  Fear of the unknown can be a huge inhibitor, but these classes helped me feel more prepared. 

 

Hats Off to Foster Parents, Petra Woodard & Ashley Warren!

Hats Off to Foster Parents, Petra Woodard & Ashley Warren!

Susan Ripley, Heartland Director of Licensing, would like to give a Hats Off to foster parents Petra Woodard and Ashley Warren for their outstanding work as foster parents, supporting not only the children placed in their home, but providing encouragement to the biological parents as well. 

Two Polk County Magistrates also complimented the Woodard–Warren home for their outstanding work as foster parents, recommending that they would be awesome mentors to other foster parents.

Thank you, Petra and Ashley!

 

Hats Off to Placement Specialist, Todd Hardin!

Hats Off to Placement Specialist, Todd Hardin!

We'd like to congratulate Todd Hardin, Placement Specialist at Heartland for Children for his Hats Off nomination from Rosemary Harris, Director of Children's Services at the Salvation Army!

Rosemary wanted to thank Todd, in particular, for being very friendly and a pleasure to work with, even on busy/stressful days, and for often going above and beyond the call of duty.

Hats Off to you, Todd!  Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

Hats Off to Therapeutic Foster Parents, the Shermans!

Hats Off to Therapeutic Foster Parents, the Shermans!

Sue Turnbeau, Assistant Program Director with Gulf Coast Case Management Organization would like to extend a Hats Off to Mr. and Mrs. Sherman for their exemplary work as therapeutic foster parents for a sibling group of four.  She has observed first-hand the tremendous progress the children in their home have made. 

Hats Off to the Sherman home for your commitment to these children!

 

Hat's Off to Foster Parent Toni Bauer!

Hat's Off to Foster Parent Toni Bauer!

"Toni has been co-parenting with a young mother who was raised in foster care herself. She has supported this mother since the child was placed in her home in March. Toni and the mother have a wonderful relationship and even completed a birthday party for the child together. Toni Also drives the child to drop him off an hour away to the mother and picks him up from the visits because the mother does not have transportation. Toni has been supporting reunification as well. Every time that I complete a home visit at the home, she is so kind and patient. She does great with all the children in her home and she goes above and beyond to ensure the children are treated like her own. Her routine with so many young children is phenomenal."

-Amanda Land, Case Manager