Use the Law to Support Sibling Relationships – Help Reduce Institutional Trauma

Co-hosted by Florida’s Children First & FLS Statewide Training Initiative Speakers:

Robin Rosenberg, Deputy Director, Florida’s Children First

C.Christine Smith, Staff Attorney, Florida’s Children First

Members of Florida Youth SHINE

Siblings can provide a consistent source of support, love, comfort, and companionship. Sibling relationships are especially important to children who have been removed from their parents. Unfortunately, the child welfare system often inflicts trauma on children by failing to place them with families who can support the entire sibling group. The system can do better – and you can help!

In this training, Florida Youth SHINE members will share their experiences with losing, maintaining, and re-establishing relationships with their siblings and others while in care. The Florida’s Children First team of attorneys with expertise in this arena will review all the laws and rules currently in place to protect sibling relationships and share practical tools that can assist in the process.


PPT Presentation Slides

Sibling Statutes, Rules, Operating Procedure & Benchbook

CLE #2402032n

1.5 General credits


1.5 Juvenile law

1.5 Marital & Family Law

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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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