IMAGE (16 of 49)Brevard Family Partnership board member, Paula Creed-Smith, 28, is a former consumer of the child welfare system. She entered foster care at age 14 and aged-out to the Independent Living program. After exiting foster care, Paula was approached by a representative of Community Based Care of Brevard (Brevard Family Partnership) about a program focusing on youth engagement, youth advocacy and creating a community for foster care youth. This program was later called Connected By 25 (Cby25).

After serving on the community and youth advisory board for Cby25, Paula became involved in state level advocacy when she was invited to Children’s Week 2005 in Tallahassee, FL. She has returned to Children’s Week on many occasions on behalf of children and families in Brevard. It was during this period of advocacy and service that Paula changed her major from law to social work.

Paula has held various positions such as Independent Living teacher, Direct Care in mental health, and Youth Liaison in prevention/diversion. She currently serves on the Brevard Family Partnership Board of Directors. In addition to her community service, Paula has participated in numerous speaking engagements and has facilitated several trainings.

Paula is married and has two children. She recently opened her own business as a personal concierge and is very active in the faith community. Paula hopes to continue her education and serve the community of youth and families as the opportunities arise.