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The Future Effect

The Future Effect

By The Future Effect
The Future Effect is a weekly podcast bringing you the latest news and updates in Florida’s child welfare system.

Politics is a scary word - but it doesn't have to be. Hosts Danielle and Joe will take you with them as they traverse the halls of the state capitol, take a deep dive into policy and legislation affecting Florida's children, and chat with some folks dedicated to making positive change in the sunshine state.

This podcast is brought to you by the Future Effect political committee.
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Mama, We Made It
The 2021 Legislative session has officially come to a close! In this season's final episode, hosts Danielle, Joe and Sarah celebrate their victories, talk about their hopes for next session, and share the progress they're making on federal legislation nationwide. 
May 3, 2021
It's the Final Countdown
This weekly recap covers the week of April 19-April 23. We’re headed into the final week of the legislative session! In this episode, hosts Danielle, Joe and Sarah provide the latest update on their legislative priorities and how they’re doing heading into budget season. The trio also discusses the #MANicureMovement in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month, and what you can do to take part and help polish off child abuse. For more information, visit
April 27, 2021
The Calm Before the Storm
Hosts Danielle, Joe and Sarah are giving you a weekly recap of April 12-April 16th. Joe has been in Tallahassee all week meeting with legislators about back of bill funding and guardianship inclusion in the Child Welfare Specialty Plan, with some promising conversations taking place. Now the team is waiting on pins and needles to find out which items are making it into legislation and through the appropriations process as the two week "end of session" blitz begins. 
April 20, 2021
Hurry Up and Wait
On this weekly recap for the week of March 29 - Hosts Danielle, Joe and Sarah are giving updates on the status of guardianship placements' eligibility for the Child Welfare Specialty Plan and Back of Bill Funding. We have been up and down the halls of the Capitol meeting with supporters in the legislature, so now the waiting game begins as we see how our efforts play out in appropriations and on the floor!
April 6, 2021
CWSP & The Sprinkle Effect
This Weekly Recap covers the legislative week of March 22nd-26. Hosts Joe, Danielle and Sarah discuss their progress with this year's legislative priorities and how a cool $10B from the federal government has set everyone's eyes on what "one time" projects can better the lives of Floridians statewide. 
April 1, 2021
Let's Talk Child Welfare Funding
No matter what's happening in the world, children still have to be cared for. The exorbitant costs of PPE and protective safety measures has thrown the child welfare system in a lurch - leading several to face operational deficits to the cool tune of approximately $20M. In this episode, hosts Joe and Danielle discuss the financial position CBCs across the state of Florida have found themselves in due to the pandemic and introduce their newest legislative priority - back of bill funding. 
March 22, 2021
Our 2021 Legislative Agenda Explained
The hiatus is over! We're back in action. You haven't heard from us in a while because a little thing called Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill. As we've all adjusted to a new normal and vaccine distribution has gotten underway - state and federal governments have begun to expand their attention to other areas of need. As of March 2nd the Florida 2021 legislative session is underway, and hosts Danielle and Joe are ready to advocate for kids in the child welfare system. Listen to this week's episode to find out what they have in store!
March 8, 2021
Why You Should Care About the 2020 Census
·Census figures will determine how the government spends $800 billion in federal funding. The 2010 Census missed more than two million children under 5, costing states $550 million per year in lost federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, foster care, adoption and child care services. In this episode Danielle explains why this is important and how you can help make sure we count all kids. Visit for a sample letter asking Dr. Steven Dillingham, Director of the United States Census Bureau, to reconsider the plan to end the census count early.
August 13, 2020
HR 4523 - The Nonprofit Property Protection Act and Why It Matters to You
Nonprofits across America provide critical services to some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. During a global pandemic that has added considerable financial strain to operational budgets and limited access to key resources, nonprofits are facing an additional crisis that poses a severe obstacle to providing Americans the assistance they need – skyrocketing insurance costs. In this episode, Hosts Joe and Danielle are talking to Pamela Davis, Founder, President and CEO of Nonprofit Insurance Alliance about what they're doing about it.  To find out more about this topic or the NPP, contact: Pamela Davis - 831-621-6018 | Direct
July 14, 2020
We Have a Bill!
You've heard us talking about our efforts to help foster kids nationwide get their driver's licenses for months now. We're excited to announce that Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL 7th District) and Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE 2nd District) have introduced H.R. 7042 The Foster Youth and Driving Act.
June 30, 2020
Fostering and the Church
In this week's episode Danielle talks with Dan Sherfield, Connection and Mobilization Director of Summit Church about the church's role in the foster care system, God's call to care for widows and orphans and the importance of reunification. Did you know that if one member of every church fostered just one child - that would fully meet the shortage of foster parents we have in our community? If fostering may not be right for your life right now - Dan and Danielle talk through several ways you can still support the foster community.   Resources and organizations mentioned in this episode: Summit Church - Commission 127 - Foundation for Foster Children - Foster Florida -
June 25, 2020
A Message for White Allies
This week, we are taking a break from our typical podcast to share a personal message from Future Effect Executive Director, Danielle Levien. 
June 2, 2020
Your Mental Health Matters
Your mental health matters.  Yes, we're talking to you! 20% of Americans have struggled with mental health concerns at some point in their life.  When you look solely at children in the child welfare system, that number skyrockets to 80%. In addition to National Foster Care Month, May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. In this episode, hosts Danielle and Joe explore the importance of talking openly about mental health, the need to eliminate the stigma, and their own personal struggles with depression and anxiety. To those of you struggling - you are not alone.  Resources mentioned in this episode: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Federation of Families: Families First of Florida: Mental Health Awareness Training: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
May 26, 2020
Breaking Down the FFPSA
What's even better than reunifying children with their families? Addressing concerns in the home BEFORE crisis occurs so they don't enter the child welfare system in the first place. In this episode, hosts Danielle and Joe sit down with Becky Shipp, the woman behind the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), to discuss the need for change and break down what this means for the future of child welfare. 
May 19, 2020
Get Beyond the "Aww"
In "Get Beyond the Aww" we're talking to President and CEO of the Florida Coalition for Children, Kurt Kelly, about Foster Care Awareness Month and how the FCC brings together over 90 organizations to advocate on behalf of Florida's children. For more about the FCC, visit their website at
May 12, 2020
It Takes a Village
Life looks a little bit different these days. Imagine not having a strong support network to help you through it. While we've been a little quiet on the podcast front, Joe and Danielle have been working behind the scenes to make sure kids and young adults in foster care have the supplies they need (yes, including toilet paper) to help them through the crisis. This episode gives a quick catch-up on what we've been up to, and heartfelt gratitude to those in the community who have helped along the way. 
May 6, 2020
Are You Ready to Join the MANicure Movement?
It's April - which means that blue nail polish is officially back in style. In this episode, Danielle is joined by special guest Sharon Nelson to talk about the MANicure Movement - a grassroots campaign Sharon started here in Central Florida to help us polish off child abuse and hold open conversations about a difficult topic. To learn more about the campaign, visit!
April 8, 2020
Child Welfare in the Time of Covid-19
What a month! The child welfare landscape is changing due to Coronavirus, and we're all navigating how to put our best foot forward in the time of crisis.  We're working hard to maintain the health and safety of our children and families. Listen to find out how!  Ps:  Please, we implore you, stop buying all the toilet paper!
April 2, 2020
FE Takes DC
Last week, Danielle and Joe flew to Washington DC to meet with Dr. Jerry Millner, Head of the Children's Bureau, about the Keys to Independence Legislation. This episode provides a quick recap of their adventures in the city, including how Danielle almost spent her life savings at a flea market, and how they're preparing for life during Covid-19.
March 18, 2020
If you thought that this number is the amount of licks to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop, you are sadly mistaken.  Danielle and Joe are here to explain that it is, in fact,  the number of children identified nationwide as victims of maltreatment in 2018. In this episode, they'll discuss the findings of the most recent Child Maltreatment Report published by The Children’s Bureau and how it's time to focus on prevention. 
March 3, 2020
"I don't want you making people cry!" - February Legislative Updates
As the legislative session winds down, Danielle and Joe break down their current strategy to make sure their legislative priorities stay on track. This episode comes complete with Danielle talking herself into a corner, and an impassioned argument for job security.
February 25, 2020
The Keys to Independence
Just 5 years ago, only 20 young adults in foster care in the entire state of Florida had a driver’s license. Yes, 20.  You read that number correctly. Now, the number of kids who have either their license or permit is around 2,000 thanks to a program called Keys to Independence. In this episode, we’re speaking with Keri Flynn and Elias Quintana from K2I about the importance of helping youth in foster care to achieve this important milestone.  To learn more about Keys to Independence, visit 
February 18, 2020
Pathways to Home - A Chat about Family Homelessness
Little known fact: Seminole County in Central Florida has one of the highest rates of child homelessness in the entire country. A Sixty Minutes special was event created about it at the height of the recession. Unfortunately, despite having a loving family who cares deeply about them, many of these children enter the child welfare system due to issues stemming from poverty.  Another Little known fact? Most Americans are one paycheck away from homelessness. It's all too easy for any of us to find ourselves in that same situation. Listen to this episode with Joe, Danielle and Jennifer Bero, Program Director for Pathways to Home to learn how the program is addressing this issue and how you can help keep families intact.  Resources/Links mentioned during podcast: // phone number: 407-268-6363
February 4, 2020
Do You Want to be a Mentor?
You've heard it said that all it takes is ONE caring person in a child's life to make all the difference, and as Colby Donovan will tell you, those words couldn't be truer. Supporting children in foster care can look like all sorts of things, and in this case it's serving as a mentor.  Listen to how this 29 year old young professional has incorporated mentorship into his life, and how he feels forever changed by the experience. 
January 21, 2020
Minisode 1: Committee Week
The biggest problem we face?  The lack of awareness and public discussion about child welfare issues. Solution? Committee Week! In this episode, Future Effect team member Jennifer Spath is giving us a quick recap from her whirlwind week in Tallahassee meeting with our elected officials in preparation for the legislative session. 
January 14, 2020
An Introduction to 2020's Legislative Priorities
2020 is the year of Medicaid - at least in terms of Future Effect's legislative priorities. In this episode, Danielle and Joe will take a deep dive into the Child  Welfare Specialty Plan (CSWP); a unique Medicaid plan offered to children in the state of Florida who are currently in, or adopted out of, the foster care system.  The CWSP has been life changing for kids in foster care, and we're advocating for three key points to strengthen it further.  Priority #1:  Specialty plan enrollment eligibility currently consists of children or youth in care, in extended foster care or in a subsidized adoption. We are requesting the inclusion of children in permanent guardianship, who are currently ineligible for the CWSP despite needing the same specialized services.  Priority #2: Adopting language in Florida Statute Chapter 63 that allows for the sharing of data and information of post-adoption recipients to coordinate the delivery of medical and behavioral health services.  Currently, the child's case management team and medical team are unable to continue working together once the adoption is finalized - despite the child receiving post adoptive services.  Priority #3: If a child welfare specialty plan exists, there is no requirement for an insurer to operate it in partnership with CBC lead agencies. We're advocating that insurance agencies who bid to operate this plan must do so in partnership with a CBC lead agency, as child welfare experts know the needs of these children best.  Tune in through the end for a surprise cameo! And yes - we know the holidays are long gone.  For Christmas, Santa brought us the gift of technical difficulties. 
January 7, 2020
Let's Talk Political Committees
In this introductory episode, you'll meet Danielle Levien and Joseph Durso - the hosts of Future Effect and dynamic leaders of the Future Effect political committee.  You'll hear them talk about what a political  committee is - and isn't - and the truth behind political advocacy. Hint: House of Cards is, indeed, a work of fiction.  And no, it's not as sketchy as commonly believed.  They also get a little personal about their backgrounds and shed light on why they fight on behalf of Florida's children. Listen, laugh, enjoy. 
December 11, 2019