Melissa Breckenridge
Brevard Family Partnership, Public Relations Coordinator
2301 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Ste. 104
Melbourne, FL  32935
Phone: 321-752-4650 ext. 3047

Brevard Family Partnership to end $4,580,000 contract to bring case management under local control through new entity, Family Allies, Inc.

MELBOURNE, FL – April 7, 2017

The Board of Directors for Brevard Family Partnership (BFP), a nationally recognized lead child welfare agency in Brevard County, has voted to bring case management under local control in an effort to return to the spirit and intent of privatization, communities coming together to care for their own.  After 13 years of subcontracting its largest contract to agencies with corporate offices, leadership, and Boards outside of Brevard County, the Board voted unanimously to terminate its 4 year, $4,580,000 annual contract with IMPOWER, effective July 1.

Over the past 13 years, millions of dollars have been directed out of Brevard to pay administrative overhead costs to support out of county corporate headquarters of case management agencies. On July 1st that ends. With overwhelming community support promoting this transition, Eric Smith, BFP Board Chair, stated, “the BFP Board of Directors has determined that Brevard’s children and families will be best served by a case management agency that is managed and governed by local leadership who live, work and are present and invested in our community; and who are familiar with its children, families, needs, culture and resources.”

With the exception of two IMPOWER part-time leadership positions based outside of Brevard County, on April 3rd BFP communicated its intent to transition all existing 74 employees, most of whom are residents of Brevard who have been serving the children and families in our community long-term. This transition will provide local, accessible onsite collocated leadership to support the dedicated professionals and most valuable resources who care for Brevard’s children and families daily. Beginning July 1, there will be no other competing priorities in the contract relationship, apart from solely focusing on the safety and well-being of those entrusted to our care in Brevard County.

BFP was established as a non-profit organization in 2003 in response to the Legislative mandate to privatize foster care and related services.  Founding Board of Director member Leo Roselip stated, “As the sole community representative on the founding Board of Directors of Community Based Care of Brevard (CBC), I am wholeheartedly in support of the Board’s decision to take over case management. I made this recommendation when I served on the Board several years ago and am pleased to see it finally come to fruition today. This move takes our community based System of Care back to the spirit and intent of privatization, communities caring for their own.”

The Board elected Ms. Andrea Betting, L.C.S.W., Managing Director of Operations of Florida Adoption Center, as the Board Chair of the new entity, Family Allies, Inc. Andrea lives and works in Brevard and cares deeply for our citizens. As a local resident, which the Board feels has been the missing link in its current contract; she will have an active presence as a community leader and Board member, which is a welcomed change. The two other founding Board members include Ms. Leigh Holt, foster and adoptive parent and community activist who played a lead role in the formation of CBC of Brevard. Ms. Holt is elated to serve and is committed to moving the System of Care back to the intended purpose as originally designed by the community. Mrs. Stephanie Strodtman, who is passionate about the wellbeing of Brevard’s families as a mother and professional will serve as a member of the Family Allies Board and brings experience and knowledge of Brevard County resources.

Mr. Bill Bucher has been appointed the Executive Director of Family Allies, Inc.  Mr. Bucher is a veteran of 18 years in child welfare operations, including progressive leadership roles in Brevard County with the Florida Department of Children and Families and as a Regional Administrator with Devereux Florida, responsible for case management operations with multiple Community Based Care (CBC) organizations, inclusive of Brevard County, as well as licensing, visitation, and therapeutic programs and services. He has served as the Senior Executive of Strategy for Brevard Family Partnership since September 2015.

Family Allies, Inc. will join Brevard C.A.R.E.S. and the National Center for Innovation and Excellence, under the Brevard Family Partnership umbrella of agencies, led by CEO Dr. Patricia Nellius. Dr. Nellius is the founding CEO of BFP and has resided in Brevard County and served at BFP for 13 years. Patricia brings stability to the local System of Care, along with the institutional knowledge of the Brevard and Florida Child Welfare system, as the longest seated CBC CEO in the state of Florida.

About Brevard Family Partnership

Established in 2003 as a non-profit organization in response to the Legislative mandate to privatize foster care and related services in Florida (Section 409.986, Florida Statutes), Brevard Family Partnership is Brevard County’s lead child welfare agency. The agency was subsequently awarded the contract, through the Florida Department of Children and Families, to manage Brevard County’s child welfare system. Working in partnership with over 50 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.