Family Support Services of North Florida is the leading community-based care agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in Duval and Nassau counties. Through our partnership with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), we are proud to deliver services to children and families in a community-based care format.
In other words, what’s best for a child in Yulee, Florida, might not be what’s best for a child in inner-city Miami. So, DCF put the power into the communities, by contracting with a local lead agency in each region to deliver the highest quality services utilizing the best child professionals in their area, to address the issues affecting their local community and the children and families who live there.
Each agency follows strict state and federal guidelines and protocols but has the freedom to create programs and initiatives to respond and adapt to the needs of their children and families seamlessly.
Whether the services are provided in-house by the lead agency itself or if they are outsourced locally to other child-serving agencies, this system of care helps to create an emphasis on local community ownership of caring for our youth. Children and their families are receiving top-of-the-line social services through organizations that are nearby and have a vested interest in the communities they serve. Some of our partners include Daniel Kids, Children’s Home Society, Jewish Family and Community Services and Neighbor to Family.
“Communities coming together on behalf of the most vulnerable children demonstrates what community-based care was designed to do,” – DCF.
The flexibility of the community-based system of care also allows the right people for the right job, whether it is prevention services to help troubled families before a child is actually removed, oversight after they are placed in foster care or even therapeutic services while they are in care and transitioning back to their families or into permanent loving homes.
Just like our other CBC partners, we are monitored in many areas of quality performance, including how often a child in foster care is seen by a case management professional, the quality of that visit, the health and wellness of children in care and the quality of the families who are providing a safe haven for foster children. Many other measures of what we do are reported each month and can be viewed on the DCF website.
These community-based alliances and partnerships have allowed us to break down barriers for our children and families and react quickly to situations, just as we did recently with Hurricane Irma. Our system ensured all of our 900+ foster children and foster families were reported safe and accounted for within 24 hours of the hurricane and its impact.
FSS is proud to be a leader in the success of community-based care for so many years. We love what we do and how we do it, and we hope you will join us as we continue to help local families. Read more about community-based care on DCF’s website, and visit www.fssjax.org if you’re interested in fostering, adopting, mentoring or volunteering.