The Alliance for Hispanic Pastors

In collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and Life in Your Hands, Family Services of Metro Orlando hosted a seminar on preventing and responding to domestic violence for the Alliance of Hispanic Pastors.

More than 75 pastors gathered at Tabernacula Nuevo Comiendo in Kissimmee on April 24 to learn how they can become more involved as community leaders to prevent abuse.

In 2009, there were 9,254 counts of domestic violence in Orange County and 2,146 counts of domestic violence in Osceola County. The combined total between the two counties averages to one act of domestic violence every 47 minutes.

The number of domestic violence cases has decreased during each of the last 10 years, and increased awareness about domestic violence can continue the trend. Ivonne Carmona, an investigator for DCF, presented how the pastors can help victims of domestic violence.

“Our main goal was to educate the pastors on the different types of abuse and the warning signs,” said Ivonne Carmona, an investigator for DCF. “We want their congregations to know that help is available.”

Claudia Gonzalez, adoption specialist; Kathy Williams, community advocate; and Diana Curry, prevention and diversion specialist; explained the foster care system to the pastors, including how children enter care and achieve permanency through adoption or reunification.

If you are interested in adoption, please contact Kathy Williams at 1-877-6-MY-KIDS or by e-mail at


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