Core functions provided by the Safe Children Coalition are:
- Case Management
- Foster Care
- Independent Living
- Quality management &
- Community & Client
- Data Services & Client
Senator John McKay led the way to pass the first piece of legislation mandating that Sarasota County be a pilot for Community-Based Care, with statewide implementation of local control to be realized by 2005.
In 1997 the YMCA became the lead agency of a coalition of 12 community agencies in the privatization of Child Welfare/Foster Care and related services in Sarasota County. The mission of the Foster Care program is to provide comprehensive services to children and families needing foster care or at risk of needing foster care through a collaborative effort that unites resources; holds all parties accountable to specific standards of care; evaluates performance and distribution of resources based on specific and measurable outcomes; holds permanency of the child's living arrangement and the continuity of relationships for the child as the primary goals; and provides these services through an inclusive and informative relationship with the community and state. The services provided include foster parent recruitment, training and licensure; adoptions; foster care; protective supervision; and voluntary family services.
Child Welfare Services
An expansion into Manatee County for Community-Based Care child-welfare services began in the fall of 1999. Similar to the Sarasota County project, the YMCA became the Lead Agency of a partnership of community agencies to assist Manatee County's abused and neglected children and their families in reaching their full potential in a safe and stable environment.
Adoption and Foster Care Services
The Partnership started adoptions and licensing services in June of 1999 and began delivering foster care services by the fall of 1999. An audit completed in the latter part of fiscal year 2000 reported that both Sarasota and Manatee Counties' performance results were better than or equal to any other project throughout the State in 28 of 32 outcomes measured.
The project expanded again to include DeSoto County. In the fall of 2001, the DeSoto County project was added as the third county under the leadership of the YMCA, initially serving 251 children.
Now known as the Safe Children Coalition, our project covers the three counties of the 12th Judicial Circuit. We still offer a continuum of care from shelter to permanency in an attempt to foster hope...foster or adopt a child.
Independent Living Services for Foster Care Teens
The Safe Children Coalition is committed to preparing foster care youth ages 13 to 23 for the adult world that they will soon enter. Assistance and support as youth reach toward self-sufficiency come in many forms including life skills training classes, individual coaching, in-home instruction, and leadership opportunities. Priority areas for skill building are money management, personal care/hygiene, nutrition, personal safety, housing, employment, and educational and career planning. The Safe Children Coalition is a partner with and support system to Young Adults who have been in Foster Care, assisting them in completing their successful transition to independence and self-sufficiency. Eligible Young Adults, ages 18 to their 23rd birthday, can request services and assistance from the Coalition through the Road to Independence Program. Generally speaking, these services include temporary financial assistance, mentoring and tutoring, mental health services and substance abuse counseling or referrals, life skills classes, credit management training, preventive health activities, parenting classes, job skills training, and coaching/consultation with Independent Living staff. Each Young Adult's needs are different and support is always individualized to help the Young Adult with the challenges of living in our adult world. In seeking support, Young Adults are encouraged to ask for Educational Scholarships, Transitional Support Services, and Aftercare Assistance by contacting their local Safe Children Coalition Office in the county they reside
KALISH HOUSE RESOURCE CENTER - a community-based and youth-inspired teen center. Combining education, training and fun, the resource center is a place for our youth and young adults aged 13 through 23 to obtain life skills and education.
This makes it possible for them to live independently, obtain employment, have a quality of life appropriate for their age and to assume personal responsibility for becoming self sufficient adults. This facility also promotes self-confidence and self-esteem in these young adults. With the help of volunteers, advocates, our faith-based community and previous foster youth, the Kalish House is an example of a community-driven program that offers quality services and relevant programming and an â€˜in-placeâ€™ to be attractive to the youth in our local communities.
We believe the 'sky is the limit,' when it comes to the many ways that we, our community partners and the youth themselves can help teens and young adults prepare for success in life!
THINGS WE DO
College and university tours, various conferences, state representation, movie nights, clubs, information sessions, job fairs, classes, courses, historical and cultural field trips, Florida Youth SHINE-Manasota Chapter.
WHAT WE OFFER TO YOUTH
Wi-Fi capability, life skills training and mentoring opportunities, vocational and technical courses, Alumni Pow-Wow, tutoring GED practice and preparation.