Current News

September 15, 2021: CCKids, Guardians for New Futures, Want You to Find Your Inner Santa
Communities Connected for Kids and Guardians for New Futures will once again combine forces to bring holiday cheer and Christmas magic to children in the local foster care system. To make that happen, we are looking for >>

August 25, 2021: Local Football Star Graduates from Exclusive Leadership Course for Youth in Foster Care Winners
Vero Beach High School graduate Tyler Wrenn is heading to college this fall on a football scholarship. But he made a quick stop this summer to a prestigious, invitation-only, leadership training. Tyler, a young man who uses his experience in the foster care system to help others, was selected to >>

July 28, 2021: Home-Cooked Meals, Delivering Medication, Helping Families Reunify. It's All in a Day's Work for These GEM Winners
Communities Connected for Kids congratulates Rebecca Morgan and Stacey Wickett for winning the most recent Going the Extra Mile – or GEM – Award for excellence in serving children and families in Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast. The duo won the award for the period spanning April through June. The period marks the first time that a GEM award was also given to >>

July 28, 2021: State of Our Children June 2020 to July 2021
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, CCKids ended its fiscal year with improvements and trends that continue to >>

July 15, 2021: United Way to Send Hundreds of Children in Foster Care Back to School with Supplies
The United Way of St. Lucie County will once again donate 300 backpacks of school supplies to CCKids for children in care, continuing a decade-long partnership between the two organizations. During ordinary years, CCKids earns this contribution by helping to >>

July 15, 2021: New Campaign Offers Window into the Work
Meet the staff behind CCKids' mission every week by following our #WeCareWednesday campaign on Facebook and Instagram. The campaign will spotlight a different member of staff each week as a way to better engage with the community we serve. We kicked off the campaign last week with Jessica Abadia, an Intake & Operations coordinator who facilitates >>

July 15, 2021: CCKids Looks for the Helpers & Finds Them
Communities Connected for Kids welcomes Cayuga and Education Advantage to its child-welfare system this summer. The non-profit organizations are the latest to start recruiting, training and licensing foster families in Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast. "Foster-home recruitment continues to be >>

June 30, 2021: Advocacy Center Receives Critical Funding
The area's first Child Advocacy Center received critical state funding and is on mark to open this fall, said Debbie Butler, president of Guardians for New Futures, the non-profit organization driving the project. The center will house intake services for >>

June 16, 2021: We are Proud of Our Diverse Youth
A growing body of research is showing that LGBTQ youth nationally are over-represented in foster care, possibly due to increased isolation and discrimination. A study conducted in 2019 by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 30.4 percent of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ, compared to >>

June 16, 2021: Local Law Firm Puts the Phil in Philanthropic
CCKids thanks the Law Office of Philip DeBerard for donating space on its digital billboards in Vero Beach and Stuart. Billboard art like the one above ran the first two weeks in June, highlighting the community's need for >>

May 26, 2021: Many children featured on Forever Family, but where are they now?
Their young faces are hopeful, and their voices – often quiet and sometimes barely more than a whisper – speak a tale that is both universal and yet uniquely their own. They are children looking for adoptive homes, and they have been appealing to prospective moms and dads every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on WPEC’s News Channel 12 Forever Family segment. Videos featuring 34 children have aired since the program began running local stories in 2018. Of those children >>

May 26, 2021: Okeechobee, Treasure Coast Win Statewide Recognition for Local Foster Parents
Some brought dogs, some brought children and still others brought teams of colleagues. They all brought game – and a healthy sense of competition that helped Communities Connected for Kids win a private audience with legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy. It was all part of this year’s Foster Care Month celebration, which began May 1 with a >>

May 5, 2021: Sign Up for 1K For 1Kid and Join us at #CCKThePark
(UPDATE: This event was been changed to SATURDAY ONLY.) Run, walk, bike – skateboard or rollerblade. However you do it, do it for foster care. That’s the message Communities Connected for Kids wants to get out this May, during National Foster Family Appreciation Month. And to help get people moving in the right direction, the non-profit organization responsible for the local dependency system is challenging the community to >>

May 5, 2021: CCKids Welcomes Magistrate to Board
Communities Connected for Kids welcomes its newest Board member, recently retired magistrate to the 19th Judicial Circuit, Kay Hammond. Hammond, who attended her first CCKids Board meeting Tuesday, was one of the first three general magistrates appointed to serve the circuit, which covers the same four counties served by CCKids’ community of care – Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. She held the position until >>

April 21, 2021: We Are Up to the Challenge
CEO Reflects on Child Abuse Prevention Efforts: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I am proud to report on the good work our community has done this past year to raise awareness for an epidemic that has plagued our children and families for decades. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes we’ve all made to accommodate our work around it, our community has seen >>

March 24, 2021: Foster Closet Volunteers Hop into Action
Just like an Energizer Easter Bunny, you can't stop Ericah and Sabrina Brinson, co-founders of the Treasure Coast Foster Closet. The sisters-in-law and CCKids foster parents organized >>

March 10, 2021: Fewer Children Removed from Home; Rate at 10-Year Low
Communities Connected for Kids has much to celebrate this month, beginning with the number of children removed from home due to abuse or neglect. That number decreased significantly in Florida’s >>

February 25, 2021: Youth of the Year Uses Adoption Story as Platform for Change
Service comes naturally - if not genetically - to Elyse Bailey, the 2021 St. Lucie County Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year. Parents Rose and Brian Bailey are givers and servers who have dedicated their lives to foster care, and Elyse is part of >>

February 11, 2021: Retention Study Reveals Hard Truth
A multi-year study that followed 1,500 newly trained child-welfare professionals for five years wrapped up earlier this year with these not-so-startling results: Social work – particularly the work of dependency case managers and child protective investigators – is hard. In fact, the study found that 81 percent of those who >>

February 10, 2021: CCKids Top of the Class
It's hard to get excited about words like, "eligibility" and "candidacy." They are bits of jargon from the world of child welfare. But it's important to talk about them, because they translate into >>

February 10, 2021: If You Shop on Amazon, Consider Donating Your "Smile" to CCKids
If you are like me, you do a lot of online shopping these days - and much of it from Amazon. In fact, after nearly a full year of simple click, pay and deliver shopping - not to mention the super simple return process (a key feature for any of us with picky teenagers) - I may never >>

January 27, 2021: Serving Kids in Care an Act of Good Faith
More than 120 child-welfare professionals and faith and community leaders assembled online Thursday, Jan. 21, for the local launch of An Act of Good Faith – a faith-based initiative championed by >>

January 27, 2021: Campaign Reminds Us That Sometimes Laughter is the Best Medicine
CCKids will celebrate Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week next month with a week of social media posts featuring the fun side of foster care. Called, "Sometimes Laughter is the Best Medicine," the campaign will a >>

January 27, 2021: Trio of Christmas Partners Recognized for Going the Extra Mile
Communities Connected for Kids expanded its GEM - or Going the Extra Mile - award series to include community partners during the nonprofit organization's January Board of Directors meeting. Guardians for New Futures, an organization that helps >>