Family Support Services to Use Proven Model in Lending Child Welfare Services in Pasco and Pinellas Counties
The Florida Department of Children and Families announced today that Family Support Services, one of Florida’s leading child welfare agencies, will assume responsibilities for managing child welfare services in DCF’s Circuit 6, covering Pasco and Pinellas counties.
“FSS looks forward to sharing its proven prevention model and partnering with the Department, local law enforcement and state attorneys, providers, and the Circuit 6 community to build a robust network that helps families thrive.” said FSS President and CEO Jenn Petion.
FSS has built a successful system of care in Duval and Nassau counties using a model that focuses on family preservation, collaboration with the community, kinship support, and timely permanency. The agency is confident that these fundamental elements will also greatly benefit the children, families, and communities in Circuit 6, Petion said.
Not long ago, the system of care in Duval and Nassau counties was struggling. However, since 2007 when the foster care system was transformed to a community-based care model, the total number of children in out-of-home care decreased 54 percent from 2,117 children to 970 children.
“We’ve been successful in part because of our ability to mobilize available resources in the community and build lasting relationships, particularly with those entities with a proven record of helping improve challenging systems of care,” Petion said. “We look forward to walking alongside the partners of Circuit 6 to share our lessons learned and to help strengthen the system of care for Pasco and Pinellas counties.”
FSS’s mission is to be the leader in providing safety, stability, and quality of life for all children by working with the community to strengthen the family unit. The agency looks forward to continuing this work in Pasco and Pinellas counties, Petion said.
“We can accomplish this by putting in place a strong local leadership team that will work to implement a model of family preservation that we know, through experience, can reduce the number of children in state care,” she said.
Family Support Services of North Florida (FSSNF) is the lead agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in Duval and Nassau counties. Through community-based care, FSSNF provides services and programs to help prevent child abuse and neglect, to promote a healthy family environment and to care for our community’s children in foster care. For more information, visit www.fssjax.org.
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