The Florida Center for Early Childhood recently received $15,000 in contributions from the Junior League of Sarasota and the Wilson Wood Foundation for its Early Childhood Court Program, which helps infants and children in foster care.
The Wilson Wood Foundation provided the Center with a $10,000 donation, while the Sarasota Junior League provided $5,000 in funding for the program.
“We are so honored to receive these contributions,” said Kathryn Shea, President and CEO of the Florida Center. “The support of the Junior League and Wilson Wood Foundation reinforces how important the Early Childhood Court program is for our community, especially at a time when the foster care system is flooded with new cases every day.”
When a young child is removed from their home and placed into the foster care system, the experience can result in negative outcomes and permanent issues as a result of the trauma.
Early Childhood Court is a voluntary program that reunites families and creates a healing process through therapeutic services. The program, which the Florida Center provides in conjunction with the Sarasota YMCA/Safe Children’s Coalition, assigns families a mental health counselor who helps to repair the parent-child relationship, expedite permanency and break the intergenerational cycle of abuse, neglect and violence.
Counselors work closely with each family, obtaining a better understanding of its history and recommending necessary intervention services to address past neglectful or abusive behavior. Families who succeed in the program identify the reasons behind their behavior and work diligently to become more self-sufficient. A dedicated team of experts also makes home visits to check on the family’s progress and help to rebuild community ties and support.
“Early Childhood Court has fundamentally shifted the focus from managing the case to healing the underlying source of maltreatment,” Shea said. “It is changing the trajectory for the child and family.”
About the Florida Center for Early Childhood
The Florida Center for Early Childhood is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization providing an array of comprehensive therapeutic services, clinical interventions, prevention and early education programming for children and families.
Young children at risk of academic, social and economic hardship are encouraged to overcome challenges and reach their full potential though prevention and early intervention services for the whole family. Because of this, young children achieve developmentally appropriate milestones and parents have the support and knowledge to nurture their child’s development; which decreases risk factors related to child abuse and neglect, academic and developmental delay, and behavioral and mental health disorders that create added costs to society.
For more information please contact Merab Favorite at
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