Monthly Archives: October 2014

Determination to make a difference

Here is a note from a community partner about one of our Adult Protective Investigators. The partner organization worked with DCF on behalf of a resident who needed to be moved to an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) to receive the care she needed:

“The protective investigator went above and beyond any DCF Investigator I have ever worked with. There was not one day we were not in contact with each other and the physician in an attempt to ensure [the resident] was taken care of. Many other DCF Investigators would have rightfully taken the fact that the physician had not completed the paper[work] within 30 days, and closed the case. This physician (who made the initial complaint) tried to minimize and skate around any responsibility for his patient. The API absolutely refused to allow this and held him accountable for his report and his lack of action. She contacted anyone and everyone who could assist with acquiring the necessary paperwork. We brainstormed daily about how and what we could do to ensure [the resident] did not ‘fall through the cracks.’ When I say to you she went above and beyond, I am NOT exaggerating. This lady was like a bulldog advocating and fighting for [the resident] and the care she required.”

The community partner said the API even assisted in packing the patient’s belongings, and reassured the resident who was feeling distressed about the move.

This API’s determination to make a difference is truly what made a difference.

I broke the stereotype

Guest post by Terran Vandiver, who grew up in kinship/relative care in Southeast Florida.

TerranMy history isn’t a pretty one—my childhood was full of tragic and traumatizing experiences. You know what they say, “it takes a village to raise a child,” well, I didn’t have that. I was living on the edge of the poverty line.

I had an alcoholic mom and an abusive stepdad. I was the oldest brother in my family, which made me the man of the house and I had to take on a lot of responsibility of being a man before I was able to.

Imagine trying to defend your mom and sisters from molestation when you don’t really have the strength to fight back against your stepdad. Imagine losing every fight. I wanted so badly to show my little brothers that there is a good man somewhere in this world.

One day, something in me just told me to open the front door and run down the street and call 9-1-1 and see if they could help me. And a few minutes later, police cars came and basically took away the devil in my life.

After that, I got referred to a program called HANDY by one of my caseworkers. HANDY felt like home because I was simply able to relate there. They helped me understand that what I went through is a worldwide issue. I didn’t like going to school. I didn’t feel like I could connect or that people understood me.

But people understood me at HANDY. They understood that I was just as lost as them. And we all had a hope that we could overcome the dilemmas in our households.

We talked about managing money, time, and relationships, and transitioning into adulthood. Now, I’ve graduated from not just high school, but also Florida Atlantic University. I was the only person from my block and from my family to go to college. I broke the limitations of my stereotype.

My successes are based on the hearts that I’m able to positively influence. My salary is defined by the empowerment that I’m able to help youth experience. And my asset is the revitalization of my community, so that we can all comprehend the necessity and benefits of the universal connection, which impacts us all. #ITCANBEDONE