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Children's Home Society of Florida Treasure Coast Division

Contact: Sabrina Barnes

Address: 650 10th St., Vero Beach, FL, 32960
Phone: 772-344-4020
Fax: 772-344-4038

Email: michele.downey@chsfl.org
Website: http://www.chsfl.org
Mission:
“Embracing Children. Inspiring Lives”. We accomplish this by providing a wide array of services and community education to prevent and reduce child abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Also, CHS has inspired the lives of those youth, ages 18-23, who are homeless and trying to become productive citizens. CHS Transitional Living Program (TLP) strives to prevent and reduce homelessness among these youth, the fastest growing population of homeless in our community, state and country.
Adoptions Finds forever families for children through special needs, private/newborn and international adoption services. Also provides post-adoption therapeutic/support services to families. Recruitment activities include the Heart Gallery of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast - a traveling photo exhibit of local children waiting to be adopted. Served 371 children in FY 2012-2013. Telephone 772-429-2001. CINS/FINS Services for truant and ungovernable children and their families including case management, supportive counseling and a runaway shelter-WaveCREST-for teenagers ages 12-17. Served 152 children in FY 2012-2013. Telephone 772-429-2003. Teen Life Choices Teaches teens why and how to avoid sexual involvement thus helping to prevent teen pregnancy. Served 5,619 children in FY 2012-2013. Telephone 772-429-2004. Truancy Elementary school based truancy prevention in St. Lucie County. Served 1,907 children in FY 2012-2013. Child Protection Team CHS team of physicians, nurses and caseworkers assess the physical and sexual abuse of child victims and makes recommendations for their medical and psychological recovery. Served 1,510 children in FY 2012-2013. Child Safety/Dependency Case Management Provides services to children who have been abuses, neglected or abandoned. Services include working with families with children in their homes to maintain and strengthen the family; providing foster care and group homes for children to ensure their well being. Served 1,083 children in FY 2012-2013. Transitional Living Program Provides aftercare services for youth who “age out” of the foster care system on their 18th birthday, homeless youth and youth turned out of their family home at age 18 and still in high school. Case management services as well as life skills training and temporary housing are provided to youth ages 18-23 in order to promote independence and prevent homelessness. The Youth Transition Center, located on the Vero Beach Campus is a part of this program. Served 123 young adults in FY 2012-2013. Telephone 772-778-6340. WaveCREST Shelter A 12-bed temporary shelter for boys and girls ages 12-17 who are not delinquent. In addition to safety, shelter, food and clothing, services include intensive individual, family and group counseling, structured activities, recreation and life skills provided in a home-like setting. Served 203 children in FY 2012-2013. SafePlace National Safe Place is a school and community outreach program that educates youths about the dangers of running away and homelessness. Community Mental Health Services Provides outreach and in-office mental health service to children and families on the Treasure Coast. Services include diagnostic assessment; treatment planning; individual and family therapy; psychiatric evaluation and medical management. Served 244 children in FY 2012-2013.
We are making a difference each and every day! 1)Mona came to us with hardly any schooling completed due to her mother having her to stay home with her siblings and watch them rather than going to school herself. Since coming in to our program she has begun to work on her high school diploma through the Smart Horizons Online High School. She is also working at the Dollar Tree here in Vero Beach. She is a hard working young lady with a bright future ahead of her. 2) Mickey aged out of the foster care system back in December of 2013 when he went to live with his sister. While living with his sister he was doing absolutely nothing. He dropped out of high school, was not working, and was on a path of drugs and jail. He came to our program in October of this year and since doing so has enrolled in GED classes, is working with Workforce Solutions to obtain employment, and is following all the rules and expectations of the program. He is hoping to be able to take the GED test some time next year and wants to go in to the air force once he is able to get his schooling done. 3)Anna has stayed with us 3 times and she has finally been able to get over the hurdles in her life. She has been able to find employment at Publix and is looking to start college in the spring. She is hoping to be able to get her own apartment some time in the early New Year. She is a perfect example of a client who needs to come back a few times before she is able to figure out that she needs to do things for herself rather than waiting for other people to do it for her. In the fiscal year 2013-14 CHS Transitional Living Program served 137 youth on the Treasure Coast; 54 of them were sheltered or housed at the Youth Transition Center; the remaining 83 received outreach services. Fifty three percent of the homeless youth served in the program (26 residential and 47 outreach clients) last year were from Indian River County . Fifty five percent of the population served were females, which leaves a population of males of 45%. Six percent of the youth receiving services were identified as Haitian, 4% Biracial, 4% Hispanic, 45% African American and 31% Caucasian. It is imperative to mention that 37 Indian River County referrals were received last year without resulting in admission to services. Unfortunately, some homeless youth do not follow up with the application process, resolve their living situation temporarily or lack the enthusiasm to start working on their future; therefore, admission into the program does not occur.
Increase funding for operating expenses related to the Transitional Living Program to ensure a continuum of care after youth age out of the foster care system (ages 18-23) and expand the program to serve increasing numbers of homeless youth and youth turned out of their family homes at age 18 while still in high school. Specific to Indian River County are 50 homeless 18-24 year olds living in Indian River County and an additional 35 were involved in the foster care system with nowhere to go when they turned 18. As of 12/18/2013 the Indian River School District identified 283 homeless students. Of the 283 students identified, 72 are high school students, 2 are in the Adult Education Program and 2 at the Exceptional Educational Center School. Designated funding is also sought for vocational training, college tuition, and mental health services. The Transitional Living Program is funded through the support of area businesses, grants and private donations.
Continue to expand new and sustain current services for the youth aging out of foster care, ages 18-23, who participate in the Transitional Living Program. Identify and launch a start-up business and business affiliations that can provide real world job training for youth that age out of foster care and provide CHS with sufficient profit to sustain and grow the business and the Transitional Living Program. Continue to exceed Adoption Services goals to find forever families for all eligible children in foster care. Continue to exceed goals for Children In Need of Services/Families In Need of Services (CINS/FINS) program at WaveCREST so that we can provide more services that keep children with their families.
Other Addresses State Headquarters Office 1485 S. Semoran Blvd, Suite 1448 Winter Park, FL 32792 Youth Transition Center 620 10th Street Vero Beach, FL 32960
Corporate Office: 1485 S. Semoran Blvd, Suite 1448, Winter Park, FL 32792 Residential Facilities: Youth Transition Center, 620 10th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960; WaveCREST Runaway Shelter, 4520 Selvitz Rd., Fort Pierce, FL 34981


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