Tracy Pellegrino
National Center for Innovation and Excellence
2301 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Ste. 104
Melbourne, FL  32935
Phone: 321-752-4650

BREVARD COUNTY, FL. 09/18/2020 – Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department is working with Brevard Family Partnership, Inc. to create the Brevard Behavioral Health Expansion project. The project, which kicks off Oct. 1, 2020, will provide direct services to children/youths ages 5-21 with severe emotional disturbance/severe mental illness, as well as provide support to their families.

Brevard Family Partnership utilizes the evidence-based practices of the C.A.R.E.S. Model, Wraparound, Parenting with Love and Limits, and Nurturing Parenting Program. Through the Behavioral Health Expansion project, Brevard Family Partnership will expand the Youth Thrive initiative, which supports healthy development and promotes well-being for vulnerable youths, while exploring and adding additional evidence-based/evidence-emerging practices to support and engage children and youth on their path to becoming healthy adults. Priority populations include those individuals recognized by child welfare with behavioral health challenges and who identify as LGBTQ+; homeless; having a history with suicidal ideation; having been a patient under a Baker Act (involuntary institutionalization). The project will provide care coordination to approximately 100 children/youth each year with a total of 400 children served throughout the grant.

For its part, Brevard County’s Housing and Human Services Director Ian Golden, as administrator/principal investigator, will contract with Brevard Family Partnership for program implementation and service delivery, as well as establish Brevard County’s Together in Partnership community advisory board as the governance body. Other community-based providers within the local county network will be solicited as partners for additional services and support to children/youth and families identified by the initiative.

The Behavioral Health Expansion project will increase the widespread adoption of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ Working Definition Recovery, which includes the four major dimensions of Health, Home, Purpose and Community and will seek to achieve the following primary goals: Increase availability of evidence-based/promising practices, providing access to quality treatment and recovery services for children/youth with severe emotional disturbance/severe mental illness, including related services for their caregivers in order to reduce risk of Baker Act and suicide; Demonstrate the improvement of child/youth and family outcomes across multiple life domains (family relationships, living environment, social functioning, recreational, job functioning, developmental, legal, medical, physical health and education; Increase collaboration among child welfare, judicial, educational, health, behavioral health and substance abuse systems, and community providers and partners to enhance the System of Care and build a sustainable infrastructure; and expand the collection and use of data for system improvement while implementing knowledge-based evaluation to promote proven or promising practices.

The four-year program is being funded with $4 million from the federal government and a $2 million local match from Brevard Family Partnership and its community partners.

About Brevard Family Partnership

Established in 2004 by a Legislative mandate to privatize foster care and related services in Florida (Section 409.1617, Florida Statutes), Brevard Family Partnership is Brevard County’s lead child welfare agency.  Working in partnership with over 70 community organizations, its mission is to protect children, strengthen families and change lives through the prevention of child abuse and the operation and management of a comprehensive, integrated, community-based system of care for abused, abandoned, and neglected children, and their families.