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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services