TAMPA, Fla. – Eckerd Community Alternatives Hillsborough announces its fourth annual Reunification Day celebration on May 20, 2016. This event honors Hillsborough County families who have overcome obstacles in their lives in order to be reunified with their children.
The celebration will take place on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and will feature success stories from families, special guest speakers, refreshments, and children’s activities.
Each year in Hillsborough County, hundreds of parents complete the tasks necessary to make their homes safe so that they may be reunified with their children. In Hillsborough County, 996 families were reunified in fiscal year 2014/2015. In fiscal year 2015/2016, 782 have been reunified as of March 31, 2016.
Reunification is truly a community success. The parents who are reunified with their children are supported in their communities by family court judges, case workers, service providers, guardians ad litem, foster parents, regional counsel, attorneys ad litem, private attorneys, relatives, and many more. For the fourth year, Eckerd Community Alternatives Hillsborough will partner with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Devereux Case Management, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, Inc., Youth & Family Alternatives, Inc., Guardian Ad Litem Program, Office of the Attorney General, and the Hillsborough County Family Partnership Alliance to host this celebration honoring Hillsborough parents who have reunified with their children and, as a result, have strengthened our communities.
Reunification Success Story: Nicole Allen
Nicole, now 32 years old is happy to say she is now a stay-at-home mom to her beautiful little girl, Danika.
It wasn’t always this way though. Five years ago in 2011, Danika, who was only 2 years old at the time, was removed from Nicole due to substance abuse and a violation of her probation.
Nicole was given a case plan to complete, but never finished it. She was more worried about the next party, the next drug and was making bad choices. She spent time in and out of jail being transferred back and forth from Hillsborough to Pinellas County month after month and went to multiple court hearings.
Last December of 2015, Nicole finally completed her case plan and now has full custody of her seven-year old daughter.
Nicole wants to prove to her daughter that anything is possible! Her experience has made her realize that she wants to go to school for drug counseling and help others because of what she went through.
*Note: Ms. Allen will be available to share her story with the media.
WHAT: Fourth Annual Reunification Day Celebration
WHEN: Friday, May 20, 2016, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
WHERE: Edgecomb Court House, 800 E. Twiggs Street, 6th Floor, Tampa, FL 33602
WHO: Families who have been reunited; Family Court Judges; Foster Parents; Case Workers; Service Providers and other community partners.