FSU Social Work Faculty Help to Launch Fostering Success Program

Participants in their polos.

Florida’s Fostering Success Program launched this year with the Florida State University Success Institute, a week-long overnight professional development and employment readiness training from June 17-22, 2018. The Institute, which is only one component of the Fostering Success program, is a collaboration between the FSU College of Social Work and the Florida Department of Children and Families, along with participating local child welfare experts, social work faculty members, and former Fostering Success participants.

Carol Edwards and Pam MacDill
Carol Edwards and Pam MacDill

FSU College of Social Work faculty members, Carol Campbell Edwards and Pam MacDill headed up the Institute, welcoming 28 Fostering Success participants between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three, who have foster care experiences. Although many of these young adults faced childhood trauma, they demonstrate resilience. Many are current students enrolled at Florida colleges or engaged in other educational or vocational pursuits.

This inaugural agenda for SI included professional development, career planning, and personal growth. Two important elements featured throughout the week were the incorporation of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (plus the 8th Habit), and the inclusion of leaders from the Tallahassee community and FSU faculty serving as session facilitators. Disability Rights Florida sponsored a Networking Hour at which interns practiced skills learned during the workshops by mingling with participating community leaders and faculty. Interns greeted guests wearing their FSU Success Institute polos provided by Suncoast Electric and Networking, Inc.

On the final day of the Institute, interns shared their primary gains from the experience, which included active listening skills, the importance of building professional relationships, ability to work in teams, enhanced communication skills, how to develop a personal brand and achieve goals, crafting an effective resume, the value of advocacy, and professional etiquette.

Participants during a skills building activity.
Participants during a skills building activity.

Following this Institute, attendees were interviewed and offered paid internships at one of six state agencies, including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Department of Children and Families, Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Department of Health. These year-long internships consist of part-time employment, monthly professional development training, bi-weekly individualized training, workshops, networking events, and team builders/socials, which are components of the overall Fostering Success program.

The overall goal and hope of the Fostering Success program give participating young adults a competitive advantage in the job market and the work experience needed to aid in the skills building necessary to reach economic self-sufficiency and personal success. To learn more about the Success Institute, contact Carol Campbell Edwards at carol.edwards@fsu.edu or Pam Graham MacDill at pam.macdill@fsu.edu. Information on Florida’s Fostering Success program is located at http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/foster-care1.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 08:32 AM
Last updated: Mon, 12/17/2018 - 09:57 AM