Join Us

Each year the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program holds a conference for child welfare attorneys, child welfare professionals, and judges who represent and work with dependent children with disabilities. This popular conference is known for its advanced material and workshops.  The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program invites you to join fellow child welfare professionals at the 2017 Disabilities Training Conference: Making the Impossible Possible to be held May 4-5, 2017 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida. The conference will:
 
  • Advance attorney advocacy and courtroom skills to ensure the best outcomes for dependent children with disabilities.
  • Promote understanding of the intricacies of government agency processes and how they must be coordinated to improve outcomes for dependent children with disabilities.
  • Impart advanced advocacy strategies for dependent children with disabilities.
  • Develop connections among participants and agencies to better determine appropriate resources for dependent children with disabilities.

Featuring Keynote Speaker, Doug Blevins

With the mindset that he had to be the premier kicking expert to even get an opportunity, Doug Blevins worked hard to master his craft and has toppled barriers at every level of football. His inspiring achievements have been profiled by The New York Times, People, The Washington Post, Fast Company and HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.  At the lecture podium, Blevins is one of the nation’s foremost motivators. Proving in his daily life that determination and hard work can shatter seemingly insurmountable obstacles, he inspires audiences to imagine the impossible and take actions to realize their dreams.

Coach Blevins was born with cerebral palsy, which has prevented him from ever being able to walk.   Despite having a physical disability which would be thought of as something that would preclude anyone from a career in professional sports, Coach Blevins has personally coached and developed some of the very best kickers and punters in National Football League.  

He broke into the National Football League in 1994, as the Kicking Consultant for the New York Jets.  At the conclusion of the 1994 NFL season he was hired by the National Football League to serve as the Kicking Coordinator for the NFL Europe League.  During this same time period, Coach Blevins served as the Kicking Consultant for the New England Patriots, and served as the Kicking Coach for the Miami Dolphins for 6-NFL seasons. During the 2001 Arena Football League season he served as the Special Teams Coordinator for the Florida Bobcats. During the 2004 NFL season he worked for the Minnesota Vikings.

Welcome from Alan F. Abramowitz

Abramowitz_ColorWelcome to the 2017 Disabilities Training Conference: Making the Impossible Possible.  As the Executive Director of the Guardian ad Litem Program, I am privileged to meet the most dedicated, hardworking, and determined child welfare professionals from across the state of Florida.  I listen to their stories of advocacy for the children they represent and I am inspired.  I am excited to take the opportunity at this conference, to listen to stories of advocacy from across the state, learn from those stories and better represent the needs of Florida’s dependent children with disabilities.

This year’s conference includes a variety of advanced workshops created to share best practices while learning how child welfare professionals can improve the lives of dependent children with disabilities.  From understanding the in’s and out’s of Medicaid and education, to residential treatment centers and guardianships – this year’s conference is sure to challenge you, motivate you, and connect you to the state’s foremost experts in advocating for children with disabilities.

Doug Blevins, Kicking Coach for the Miami Dolphins and Kicking Consultant for the New England Patriots and New York Jets will be featured as our keynote speaker.  Doug Blevins worked hard to master his craft and has toppled barriers at every level of football. His inspiring achievements have been profiled by The New York Times, People, The Washington Post, Fast Company and HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. In 2012 Doug was nominated to the National Football League Hall of Fame. His positive story of hard work and breaking barriers is sure to inspire.

Matthew Dietz, Litigation Director and President at Disability Independence Group, Inc., will discuss animals for persons with disabilities and how dogs are impacting advocacy in Florida. A panel of attorneys who represent children with disabilities, and who were awarded the GAL Program’s Excellence in Advocacy Award, will examine creative strategies they have used in their practice.  And finally, the Florida GAL Program and Brevard Family Partnership will explore the progression from alienation to family engagement in case planning. 

We are grateful to Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature – specifically Senator Bill Galvano and Representative Eric Fresen – for giving us this wonderful opportunity to bring together dedicated legal professionals from child serving agencies and our partner-private attorneys from throughout Florida.  

Thank you for your continued tireless advocacy on behalf of Florida’s most vulnerable children. 

 

Alan F. Abramowitz, Executive Director
Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office

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  • When

  • Thursday, May 4, 2017 - Friday, May 5, 2017

  • Conference Location

  • Rosen Centre Hotel
    9840 International Dr.
    Orlando, Florida 32819
    USA
    1 (800) 204-7234

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