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  News  

DCFS HOSTS 17TH ANNUAL HISPANIC FAMILY INSTITUTE
LATINO CHILDREN: PRESERVING THEM WITHIN THE FAMILY, WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY

November 9, 2005, Arlington Heights - The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will host the 17th Annual Hispanic Family Institute (HFI) to: 1) Celebrate child welfare professionals who advocate for and work with Latino children and families in the child welfare system, 2) Assess the availability of child welfare services to the Hispanic community in Illinois, and 3) Enhance the Department's ability to effectively serve the Hispanic family/community.

"The Hispanic Family Institute creates an opportunity to continue strengthening the partnerships we have formed with Latino communities," said Director Bryan Samuels. "It also gives us a chance to consider their needs and further enhance the services provided to this population."

The Institute is on November 9-10th at the Sheraton Chicago Northwest, 3400 West Euclid Avenue. DCFS Director Bryan Samuels will provide the opening address and businessman Juan Ortiz will serve as the keynote speaker. Workshops include training sessions in the categories of Mental Health Services, Education Services, Family Health Services, Professional Development, and Child Welfare Development.

"The theme for the Hispanic Family Institute reflects the challenge that Latino child welfare agencies face today given the limited number of resources and placement options available to the children we serve," said Lifelink Director of Latino Family Services, Kenny Martin-Ocasio. "Maintaining children within our communities requires a unified commitment toward strengthening our neighborhoods through grassroots efforts at the local level with the endorsement and support at the state level."

The premise behind this year's theme is to emphasize the importance of connectiveness to individuals, and the community that provides support and a sense of self to Latino children. "It is to acknowledge the need to have them well rooted while making decisions for our children today that will have a lifelong impact," said HFI Chairwoman Miriam Mojica. "We as Latinos believe that family is the foundation, and our communities are an extension of our family -- a sense of pride, a place to belong."

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Diane Jackson
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
312-814-6847

 

 

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