Adoption is the legal transfer of the parental rights and responsibilities from a child’s birth parents to the adoptive parents. But adoption is not the only way to help children in crisis, you may be interested in becoming a foster parent or a Guardian Ad Litem. Two foster parents, Trudy and Lisa, discuss the various challenges in the foster care system. For a prospective adoptive parent, fostering to adopt makes the adoption process easier to navigate. For Trudy and Lisa, parenting through adopting can be one of the most life-changing and yet rewarding experiences, but it is important to understand the adoption process and the different adoption opportunities available. Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe can provide you with additional information and referral services, support groups, adoption-related libraries, case management and training.
ZooRush is a collaboration between the School of Communication and the School of Public Health at the University of Miami. Everyone involved is a student or faculty member of our school. Clay Ewing, the game designer of ZooRush and Assistant Professor, and Nancy, the head of PR for the project, talk about the game the development of the game. The game is part of a larger project at the School of Public Health. The larger project, lead by Dr. Lanetta Jordan, is a patient registry for sickle cell disease. The purpose of the game is twofold: create awareness about sickle cell disease as well as reduce the stigma associated with the disease amongst teenagers that have it.
Kadie Black and Issa Hosein explain in broad terms the foster care system and how Our Kids, as the administrative agency, plays into the scheme of things. Among the topics discussed during the show are the misconceptions surrounding foster care/adoption and the children in the system, who are the children in the foster care system and most importantly, how the community can get involved. The Florida Department of Children and Families has awarded Our Kids a Community Based Care (CBC) Lead Agency Status. It is through dedicated and devoted workers that Our Kids is able to oversee and lead a coordinated system of care delivering excellence to abused, abandoned and neglected children and their families in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
On January 23, the Homeless Trust, in partnership with the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, has engaged in a census of unaccompanied, homeless youth aged 13 through 24. This effort, known as iCount, focuses in areas where homeless youth are more likely to be found. These “Point-In-Time” counts are designed to assist the US Housing and Urban Development (USHUD) and The Homeless Trust in achieving their goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2015. Bobbie Ibarra, Executive Director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, and Constance Collins, who runs the well-respected and acclaimed Lotus House, spoke about the iCount initiative and the misconceptions surrounding homelessness. While the Homeless Trust has been conducting these counts bi-annually for more than a dozen years, all communities across the country are required by US Housing and Urban Development to count their homeless on one day during the last ten days of January.
If you are interested in volunteering or contributing to this cause visit the website: http://www.icountmiami.com/volunteer
Alice Billman, Executive Director of Heroes Unite, speaks about the struggles of low-income families and deficiencies of the public school system where their children attend. In defiance of the state cuts on arts funds, she has set up an after-school program that teaches kids, 2nd grade to 5th grade, Chinese Martial Arts. The function of Chinese Martial Arts is to teach assertiveness not aggression. Funding support for the arts has decreased dramatically in recent years. Alice has devoted herself to promoting the revival of the arts through the nurturing of new and established artists and actors in the South Florida region. Apart from the after-school program, Heroes Unite provides the community with the Heroines Choir and the Mobile Micro Theater.
For more information visit www.heroesunite.org.
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
Sunday, February 9th, 2014, MADD will be holding a certified 5K walk/run and family festival at Tropical Park. For more information or to register, visit www.walklikemadd.org/miami or call (305)-273-3744
Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy practice requires knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques.
Today art therapy is widely practiced in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, forensic institutions, schools, crisis centers, senior communities, private practice, and other clinical and community settings. During individual and/or group sessions art therapists elicit their clients’ inherent capacity for art making to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Research supports the use of art therapy within a professional relationship for the therapeutic benefits gained through artistic self-expression and reflection for individuals who experience illness, trauma, and mental health problems and those seeking personal growth.
Erica Tainsh is a second year medical student at the University of Miami. She spoke with Shelly Lynn about the upcoming 5K fundraiser held by the Miller School of Medicine Department of Community Service (DOCS). DOCS is an entirely student run organization that provides free health screening services to nearly 2,000 medically underserved individuals in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties. At the DOCS health fairs and clinics, Miller School students work with faculty to bring much-needed health screenings to patients, and provide education on healthier lifestyle choices.
To register for the event, please complete the registration form at www.umdocs.org. Through the “Dean’s Run” link, register by making a donation of $25 ($15 for UMMSM students) and commenting, “Dean’s Run.” All donations/sponsorship money can be donated by credit card prior to the event (instructions on registration form) or by cash or check at the registration desk the morning of the event.
The 5K will be on January 11th, 2014.
Upcoming health fairs include: Florida Keys Health Fair 02/01/14, Jack & Jill Health Fair 02/15/14, and Liberty City Health Fair 03/15/14.
Rolly Aberion, Miami Area Coordinator, spoke with Shelly Lynn about the recent disaster in the Philippines and the necessity of everyone coming together, supporting the relief efforts going on right now. The situation is time sensitive, the sooner we get supplies to the devastated regions, the faster the damage will be repaired.