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News & Media: Archived Stories for 2016

November 22, 2016: Just Care More falls to earth, brings Teddy bears
They dotted the sky like scattered jewels, falling gently to earth with long, whistling streamers, colored smoke and an enormous American flag. But it was what they carried with them, heading back from the drop zone, that really turned heads. More than 20 skydivers participated in a >>

November 22, 2016: Local Guardian ad Litem pens memoirs of life as a foster parent
Most people have children, raise them and then send them on their way. Marlene and Richard Burns did that, too…then added an extra hundred. The Burns’ were foster parents for more than 30 years. Marlene Burns, now a Guardian ad Litem in Okeechobee County, captures the experience in her newly published book titled >>

November 22, 2016: Local football hero gives thanks by giving
Kansas City Chief Albert Wilson might be a receiver on the field. But in life, he’s a giver. Wilson, who founded the Albert Wilson Foundation this summer to give back to the foster-care community that supported him through adolescence, hosted a >>

November 18, 2016: Foundation donates $10,000 to foster dreamsThe Kathryn A. Basile Foster a Dream Foundation awarded Devereux Community Based Care $10,000 today, increasing its support of teens and young adults in foster care for the second year in a row. The award represents a 33 percent increase over last year and a 66 percent increase from the previous year. It will be used to pay for high-school graduation expenses, college campus visits and other costs associated with making the transition into independence. "Foster a Dream normalizes the foster-care experience and creates >>

November 4, 2016: Devereux Community Based Care marks third anniversary
 Devereux Community Based Care of Okeechobee & the Treasure Coast turned 3 today, marking its birthday with a long list of improvements to the local child-welfare system. "This anniversary is more about the community than it is about any one system," said Carol Deloach, CEO for Devereux Community Based Care, the non-profit organization that coordinates and oversees child-welfare services in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. "Staff and volunteers from many different agencies make >>

October 28, 2016: Local church hosts shower for Sanctuary
Port St. Lucie – More than 50 people turned out for a recent house-warming shower for Sanctuary4kids, a planned “safe place” for children who are awaiting placement into foster care. Together, they contributed $1,400 in cash and gift cards, as well as high chairs, car seats, booster chairs and the bed and bath essentials needed to make the three-bedroom house the home it’s >> 

October 21, 2016: Teens get needed champion for holidays
Teenagers often are the forgotten children of the community toy drive. "They're older, they don't believe in Santa and a lot of people can't relate to them," said Christina Kaiser, Community Relations Director for Devereux Community Based Care, the nonprofit organization that oversees the child-welfare system in Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast. But those same reasons demonstrate why teenagers need the magic of Christmas as much as younger children, she said. "They often have experienced trauma longer, they need >> 

October 21, 2016: Disparities in Infant Mortality: A Call to Action
The Healthy Start Coalition of St. Lucie County will present a Disparities in Infant Mortality Summit November 18 in a day-long call to action that organizers hope will help reduce the number of African American babies who die at birth. Registration for the event begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Indian River State College Public Safety Training Complex. Continuing Education Units and Continuing Medical Education units will be available. >>

September 6, 2016: Making Christmas Bright looking for local stars to collect toys
Imagine you're 5 years old.  You wake up one morning in a strange home because your mom and dad can't take care of you anymore. Now imagine it is Christmas morning. Did Santa find you? >>

August 30, 2016: Couple gives voice to children without any
 Fay and Bill Clark don't sweat the small stuff. But they know how important it can be. Like the napkin they taught a little girl to use. Or how to order in a restaurant. How to have a picnic. What to do at the beach. Or just getting there at all. That's because the small stuff is often >>

August 11, 2016:Kids need a haircut? Take them to Hair Cuttery
Hair Cuttery, the largest family-owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, will donate back-to-school haircuts to children who need it most this summer. From August 1-15, for every child up to age 18 who purchases a haircut at one of Hair Cuttery's 16 local salons, one free haircut certificate will be donated to a foster child and other special-needs children in the community. Certificates will be distributed through >>

August 11, 2016: Backpacks, school supplies and shoes, oh my!
Haircuts aren't the only things children need as they prepare for the start of the new school year. Thanks to a generous community, children served by the local dependency system also have backpacks, school supplies and new shoes to take with them on that first day. Earlier this summer, the United Way of St. Lucie County, in partnership with several local businesses and non-profit organizations, like Devereux Community Based Care, collected enough supplies for >>

August 9, 2016: Fiscal year ends, reveals improvement for kids
More than 170 local children were adopted last year- a nearly 40 percent increase over expectations and one of many improvements to the safety, permanency and well-being of children served by the Devereux Community Based Care child welfare system. Devereux CBC, the non-profit agency responsible for child-welfare services in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties, closed out its 2016 fiscal year June 30. Improvements for the year include >>

July 28, 2016: Devereux CBC board chair is Champion for Children
Devereux Community Based Care Board President Steven Murphy was recognized by the Florida Coalition for Children this month for more than 30 years of service to families. Murphy, who will retire this year, received the coalition’s Champion for Children award during the advocacy group’s annual conference in Orlando. “Steven Murphy is a leader who >>

July 21, 2016: Devereux CBC Chief recognized for leadership
Devereux CBC Chief Executive Officer Carol Deloach received the Jim Strayer Leadership Award earlier this month in Orlando during a statewide conference of the Florida Coalition for Children. "The award is given annually to a leader in child welfare who demonstrates the commitment to excellence, the vision, gentle leadership style and >>

June 2, 2016: Time to Stuff the Bus for children in foster care
Devereux Community Based Care of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast invites the community to help "Stuff the Bus" from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 16 at the Port St. Lucie Walmart on US 1. Stuff the Bus is a longtime partnership between >>

June 2, 2016: Kansas City Chief and native son returns home to host youth football camp
Albert Wilson, starting wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs and Port St. Lucie High School graduate, will host what he hopes will become an annual youth football camp from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 25, at Lawnwood Stadium, Fort Pierce. The football camp is part of a three-day celebrity weekend to launch the Albert Wilson Foundation, which will provide >>

June 2, 2016: More teens in foster care graduate high school this year
The number of foster youth celebrating high school or college graduations increased this year by 30 percent, from seven in 2015 to 10 this year. The number, while small, could represent a trend in the number of youth in foster care choosing to pursue a higher education. “We’re hopeful that some of the changes made in recent years to the way we serve Florida’s teens and youth in care is having an impact on >>

May 20, 2016: Foster Parents celebrate National Foster Parent Appreciation Month with food, friends – and dueling
The cake said it all. There is no better gift to give a child than a family. Devereux Community Based Care celebrated that gift – and those who give it – May 20 during a special event to honor local foster parents. The event was a partnership of Devereux CBC, the nonprofit organization responsible for child-welfare services in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties, and >>

May 18, 2016: Fort Pierce supervisor Lymar Shaw receives Supervisor of Excellence award
Lymar Shaw, Case Management Supervisor for Devereux CBC, was awarded the Supervisor of Excellence Award this month in recognition of his dedication to child welfare and the staff who report to him. The award honors supervisors who demonstrate a commitment to the agency’s core values, who instill >>

May 18, 2016: Devereux CBC celebrates successful campaign launch
If attendance is any indication, then Devereux Community Based Care’s latest public relations campaign is off to a good start. The nonprofit organization responsible for child-welfare services in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties launched its Devereux CBC for Sanctuary campaign this month during a series of four community breakfasts. Most of the events were >>

May 17, 2016: Devereux Communtiy Based Care honors those who foster hope in the community
Three Treasure Coast foster families were among this year’s recipients of the highest award given locally in child welfare. Lindsay Wilson and Maria Fernandez, from Port St. Lucie, Marc and Tammy Ortiz, from Vero Beach, and Ericah and Richard Brinson, of Palm City, received the Fostering Hope Award this month during >>

April 25, 2016: A Note from the CEO
One of the first lessons I learned as I began my career in the Florida dependency system was this: No matter how hard you work, one of your families sooner or later will come back into the system. That's when everything you ever read or learned about substance abuse, domestic violence or good old-fashion, unpredictable human behavior becomes something real - the adversary to >>

April 15, 2016: New radio show gives listeners a peek behind the child-welfare curtain
Devereux Community Based Care unveiled a weekly radio show this month designed to raise awareness for the issues of child abuse and neglect. The launch coincides with National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month and a series of planned springtime outreach and appreciation activities. Devereux Community Based Cares offers a behind-the-scenes look at the >>

April 8, 2016: Human Trafficking Task Force Forms
The only way to end human sex trafficking is to make the community aware that it’s happening. “It’s here, it’s real, and it’s happening right in front of your eyes,” said Suzanne Kulscar, vice president of the newly formed Human Trafficking Coalition of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, the number trafficking calls in Florida increased from 883 in 2012 to 1,518 in 2015, while the number of cases nearly doubled from 237 to 407. “Florida is >>

April 1, 2016: Foster care youth to speak at breakfasts
An office chair is no place to sleep. It’s cold. It’s uncomfortable. And, most importantly, it’s not home. “People need to know what it’s like to be a kid in the system so they can help change the things that are wrong,” said Miracle Thomas, 20, who said she remembers falling asleep in an office chair while waiting for a foster home to become available. Thomas, Devereux CBC’s Youth Specialist in the Road to Success program, is a featured speaker at the nonprofit organization’s >>

March 18, 2106: Devereux CBC announces 2016 community outreach campaign for SanctuaryDevereux Community Based Care announced this month that it will direct all 2016 outreach efforts in support of Sanctuary4Kids, a local grassroots movement to create a “safe place” for children awaiting placement into foster care. The movement is a community initiative driven by Guardians for New Futures, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to meet >>

February 26, 2016: Twelve pairs of baby shoes, many memories
Ann Luecke served for two years as the president of the St. Lucie County Foster Parent Association before handing over the reins to newcomer Mark Young in January. Her shoes will be hard to fill - she's been bronzing them for seven years. Mrs. Luecke and her husband, Tim, have been foster parents since 2009, and they have kept >>

February 3, 2016: Digital stories show life in foster care
Janice Goldsberry lost more than her family when she entered foster care. She lost her self-identify. “Children in care move through so many homes, so many schools and are constantly worrying about all the movement around them, they never truly get a chance to know themselves,” said Goldsberry, 22, a local chapter member of Florida Youth SHINE, a statewide advocacy organization under Florida’s Children First of teens and young adults in foster care who >>

January 15, 2016: Foster a Dream increases support for teens and young adults in foster care
A program that prepares teens and young adults for life after foster care got a much needed bolt of support earlier this month, when the Katheryn A. Basile Foster a Dream Foundation awarded Devereux CBC a $7,500 grant to >>

January 15, 2016: Devereux CBC receives national accreditation
Devereux Community Based Care is now among the accredited elite social service organizations on the Treasure Coast and throughout the nation. The international Council on Accreditation announced in December its decision to award expedited accreditation to Devereux CBC, bringing to close >>

January 7, 2016: Campaign to recruit foster parents exceeds goal
The goal was simple: Add at least 25 new foster homes by December 25. The results were simply astounding: Devereux CBC, through the combined efforts of Child Placing Agencies Camelot Community Care, 4KIDS of the Treasure Coast and Place of Hope, recruited, trained and licensed >>

January 7, 2016: More than 1,000 children in foster care? No sweat – Santa’s got this
Children in foster care change addresses. They leave their homes. They move in with strangers. Sometimes they leave those homes, move into group homes and then move back into different foster homes. But Santa finds them every year with a little help from the community. A total of 56 local businesses and community groups coordinated toy drives and collected more than >>