Let's Talk About It Podcast

We have exciting news! Heartland for Children has launched our Let’s Talk About It Podcast where we provide education and resources for family matters in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties!

This platform will allow us to share conversations with experts in our community about important topics that impact our local families such as, foster care, adoption, water safety, safe sleep and much, much more

You can listen here:

Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates on our podcast. If you have a suggestions for a podcast episode, email us at info@heartlandforchildren.org.

Let's Talk About Miss Florida Hometown USA Teen's Journey from Foster Care to Returning Hope

Let's Talk About Miss Florida Hometown USA Teen's Journey from Foster Care to Returning Hope

May is National Foster Care Month and we're back with a very special episode of Let's Talk About It. Our guests Emabella Bryant, Miss Florida Hometown USA Teen, and her adoptive mom, Amanda Bryant, share their journeys of using their own lived experience to "Return Hope" and give back to children and families in the community.

To learn more about Foster Care or Adoption, visit:

Let's Talk About Foster Youth Voice Month

Let's Talk About Foster Youth Voice Month

October is Foster Youth Voice Month and in this episode of Let's Talk About It, Kadian, interviews Heartland for Children's TAYS Peer Mentors, Maria Gutierrez and Davonte Smith. Both Maria and Davonte share from a unique perspective, having lived experience in the foster care system and now mentoring youth in foster care. They both have a heart to give back and share why it's important to elevate the voices of our youth in care and the services and resources that are available to them.
 
To contact our Transition Age Youth Services (TAYS) Department, email mbutts@heartlandforchildren.org or call 863-519-8900 x 238.
 
To learn more about our TAYS Program, visit https://heartlandforchildren.org/youth

Let's Talk About Transition Age Youth Services

Let's Talk About Transition Age Youth Services

In this episode of "Let's Talk About It", our host, Kadian Parchment, interviews Heartland for Children's Transition Age Youth Services Program Manager, Marquina Butts-Fisher, dive into the services and resources that are made available to youth transitioning out of foster care to help prepare them for adulthood. These include free college tuition at a Florida school/university, housing, life skills, rental assistance and our Transition Age Youth Mentors. 

To contact Marquina, email mbutts@heartlandforchildren.org or call (863) 519-8900 x 238.

To learn more about our TAYS Program, visit https://heartlandforchildren.org/youth

Let's Talk About Education + Foster Care

Let's Talk About Education + Foster Care

In this episode of "Let's Talk About It", we discuss with Cherie Perryn, Heartland for Children's Education Specialist, the crucial role of advocacy for children in foster care within the education system. This conversation highlights the unique challenges these children face and what efforts are being made to reduce frequent placement changes, disruptions in their education, as well as providing support and resources to ensure they receive a quality education. Listeners will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of advocacy and how they can get involved in supporting these vulnerable students.

To contact Cherie Perryn, Education Specialist, you can email her at cperryn@heartlandforchildren.org or call (863) 519-8900 x 292.

Let's Talk About Neighbor to Family

Let's Talk About Neighbor to Family

In this episode of "Let's Talk About It", we talk with Heather Monteath, Executive Director of Neighbor to Family's Bartow Office to learn about their mission, services and resources provided to support families and protect children. Neighbor to Family is one of Heartland for Children's partner organizations. Their mission is to preserve and strengthen families who are at-risk of entering the child welfare system. During this interview, Heather shares about the new Fatherhood Initiative and the new positions created to help support fathers in our community.

To learn more about Neighbor to Family, email Heather.Monteath@NeighborToFamily.org or visit https://www.neighbortofamily.org/

Let's Talk About Reunification with our Parent Advisory Council

Let's Talk About Reunification with our Parent Advisory Council

June is National Reunification Month, and in this special episode, we're excited to have Heartland for Children's CEO, Kim Daugherty host a discussion with 3 members of our Parent Advisory Council. These mothers candidly share their experiences of what lead to the removal of their children and what helped get them to the place of being successfully reunified with their kids.

For additional resources, check out our Parent's Portal at heartlandforchildren.org/parents

Let's Talk About Reunification with Misty

Let's Talk About Reunification with Misty

June is Reunification Month and in this special episode we talk with Misty Combee, about her reunification story and role as Parent Mentor for Children's Home Society. After having her 5 children placed into foster care due to domestic violence, Misty started the process of completing her case plan and was reunified with her children within 6 months! Through her experience, Misty developed a passion to help other parents that are going through a similar experience. She is now the first to be in the role of Parent Mentor which is designed to come alongside parents that are working towards reunification to encourage and help navigate the child welfare system.

Let's Talk About Bill's Story

Let's Talk About Bill's Story

 

In this episode, we interview Heartland for Children's Bill Nunnally, a man who has experienced firsthand the challenges of growing up in foster care and now serves in the child welfare system. Bill shares how his story of trauma, abandonment and abuse led him on a path to help transform the system he survived. Don't miss listening to this inspiring story.

Let's Talk About Reading Pals

Let's Talk About Reading Pals

For 10 years, United Way of Central Florida's Reading Pals program has served over 3,000 children in our community by partnering trusted adult volunteers with kindergarteners who have been struggling with reading. These students that have participated in this program have shown measurable increases in their literacy rates by 3rd grade.

In this episode of "Let's Talk About It", we talk with Carolyn Burnett, Reading Pals Program Manager with United Way of Central Florida to share about the history, impacts and need for more Reading Pals. It's important that we teach children a love for reading at an early age and the goal is create life-long readers.

To learn more about Reading Pals and how you can get involved, email readingpals@uwcf.org or visit  https://uwcf.org/readingpals/

Let's Talk About Domestic Violence

Let's Talk About Domestic Violence

Did you know that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of domestic violence? This is a community-wide issue that we want to talk about on this episode of "Let's Talk About It".

In this episode, our team visits Peace River Center's Victim Services to connect with Kirsten Pindar, Director of Victim Services for Peace River Center, about what is domestic violence and the resources that Peace River offers for victims.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, visit peacerivercenter.org to learn more about their services or call one of their hotlines:
Polk County Hotline: 863-413-2700
Hardee & Highlands County Hotline: 863-386-1167
 

Let's Talk About The CJB Children's Resource Center

Let's Talk About The CJB Children's Resource Center

Have you heard of The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children's Resource Center? This wonderful resource is designed to serve families and is located at Lakeland's beautiful new Bonnet Springs Park.

The Resource Center offers a variety of FREE resources:

  • Variety of classes for parents w/ children ages 0-5 
  • ASD/Autism Support Group 
  • Infant Massage Classes
  • Breastfeeding Support Group
  • Tax Prep
  • Developmental Screenings 
  • Healthcare Navigators
  • Financial Stability Classes

Learn more about all that the Carol Jenkins Barnett Resource Center has to offer at https://uwcf.org/resourcecenter

Let's Talk About Teen Dating Violence

Let's Talk About Teen Dating Violence
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Did you know that 1 in 12 teens in the US reported experiencing physical or sexual dating violence?
 
In this episode of "Let's Talk About It", we talk with Cassie Long, Outreach Coordinator with Peace River Center about what is teen dating violence, the warning signs and resources for teens and families. It's important that we start the conversation with our teens about what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like. 
 
Confused about what’s normal in a relationship? Don’t know how to leave an unhealthy one? Concerned about a friend’s relationship? Call Peace River Center's 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotlines:
 
Polk County: 863-413-2700
Hardee/Highlands County: 863-386-1167

They provide free and confidential support including:

  • 24-hour hotlines
  • Emergency shelter
  • Crisis intervention and counseling
  • Safety planning
  • And more…

Let's Talk About Adoption

Let's Talk About Adoption

November is #NationalAdoptionMonth! On this episode of "Let's Talk About It" Natalya Clemens, Community Engagement Specialist, interviews Paige Ross, Adoption Specialist with Heartland for Children, about adoption. In this episode, Paige & Natalya discuss the importance of adoption, the need for forever families for teens and siblings, the adoption process and answer our most FAQ's.

To learn more about our children that are currently available for adoption, check out our Heart Gallery.

If want to connect with someone from our team regarding adoption, call 863-519-8900 x 223.

Let's Talk About Safe Sleep

Let's Talk About Safe Sleep

October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month and we're excited to be talking with Tonya Akwetey, Community Outreach Manager with Healthy Start Coalition of Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties on the this important topic regarding safe sleep. Tonya breaks down the ABC's of Safe Sleep to help us understand how we can help babies reach their first birthday. Babies should sleep ALONE, on their BACK and in a CRIB!
 
Online Resources: 

Let's Talk About Rudolph Round-Up

Let's Talk About Rudolph Round-Up

 

On this episode of Let's Talk About It, we invite Briana Edwards, Recruitment Specialist at Heartland for Children along with seasoned foster caregiver, Lori Chapman, to talk about Heartland for Children's Rudolph Round-Up Toy Drive. This operation provides magical holiday experiences for over 1,500 children in the foster care system in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties.

There are 4 ways you can become a Rudolph Champion:

  • Sponsor a child's wish list
  • Host a Toy Drive
  • Make a monetary donation
  • Purchase a gift from our Target or Amazon Toy Registry

To learn more visit heartlandforchildren.org/rudolph 

To learn more about Heartland for Children or becoming a foster caregiver, call 863-519-8900 x 289 or visit heartlandforchildren.org

Let's Talk About Mental Health + Back to School

Let's Talk About Mental Health + Back to School

The new school year is almost here! Most parents in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties agree that they want to learn more about how to prepare their children to be successful in school. 

On this episode of Let's Talk About It, Natalya Clemens, Heartland for Children's Community Engagement Specialist, and Tiffani Fritzsche, Children's Services Director with Peace River Center, talk about the importance of mental health for parents and children when it comes to going back to school! Listen in on this conversation for practical tips for parents, caregivers and children.

If you or someone you know is needed help, contact Peace River Center's Emotional Support & Crisis Line: 863-519-3744
Learn more about Peace River Center's services: peacerivercenter.org

Let's Talk About Reunification

Let's Talk About Reunification

June is Reunification Month and we want to invite you to join the conversation, in our latest episode of Let's Talk About It with Natalya Clemens and Sandi Denmark, Dependency Trainer with Children's Home Society on the show to talk about Reunification! Sandi has a wealth of knowledge and insight into this important topic and even shares how we as a community can wrap our arms around families in crisis to help them get on their feet and be reunited. 

Let's Talk About Water Safety

Let's Talk About Water Safety

Did you know that May is #WaterSafetyMonth? Water safety is a very important topic for those living in Florida because we are surrounded by water - both inside and outside our home. For this episode we interviewed Taylor Freeman, the Public Health Planning Manager for the Florida Department of Health in Polk County!

To learn more, visit the resources below:

 

Let's Talk About Foster Care

Let's Talk About Foster Care

As May is #NationalFosterCareMonth, we kicked off our first episode with “Let’s Talk About Foster Care” with our guest Susan Ripley, HFC's Director of Foster Home Licensing to share about what is foster care, why foster care is important and unveiling the common myths.

Check out Daniel's Reunification Story: https://youtu.be/7N6Yr3tSZjM

To learn more about foster care, visit heartlandforchildren.org/foster-care or call 863-519-8900 x 289.