Happy New Year!
It is hard to believe that 10 years ago this month, as Community Based Care of Brevard, years of hard work, dedication, advocacy, and reform concluded with the unveiling of privatization in Brevard County. Now, as Brevard Family Partnership, we are celebrating a “Decade of Difference” in the lives of those we serve. It all began with a group of more than 115 individuals from over 50 agencies who met for over 18 months to define what life for a child in care in our community should look like post privatization.
On my first day of work in Brevard on May 24, 2004 I walked into the Together in Partnership subcommittee meeting and saw a chart wrapped around the room depicting the experience a child had from the point of entry into the system to the point of exit. It was then that I knew this was a community that embodied the spirit and intent of community based care.
Since that time, because of you – our partners, donors, volunteers, staff and community leadership – many lives have been changed. Our community had a vision for the care and protection of Brevard’s children; a vision has been actualized over the past 10 years.
To achieve the intent of the local community, CBC of Brevard was charged to achieve the following priorities:
- Implement an aggressive, front-end prevention and diversion program
- Establish a single case-management model
- Utilize Family Team Conferencing
- Create an emergency response system
- Become nationally accredited
- Maintain caseloads below a ratio of 1:20
- Ensure Brevard’s children remain in Brevard
Together, 10 years later, we have:
- Matched and placed over 680 children in “forever homes” with adoptive families.
- Diverted over 13,000 children and their families from entry into the child welfare system, while keeping them safe at home, in their school and local community through Brevard C.A.R.E.S.
- Increased capacity to ensure that all children and families have access to needed services and support.
- Partnered with the Center for the Study of Social Policy to launch the Brevard Youth Thrive initiative, which focuses on the needs of youth aging out of foster care.
- Created the National Center for Innovation and Excellence to generate diversified revenue using the skills, knowledge and expertise represented across our community.
- Provided dependency case management to ensure the safety of over 8, 264 since July 2005.
- Lead the state in innovation and positive outcomes for children.
- Achieved national accreditation and earned reaccreditation through the Council on Accreditation.
- Forged strong public and private partnerships.
- Achieved all the priorities and strategic plan goals established by the local community.
- Established the Brevard Child Welfare Community Endowment.
While there have been many changes over the past 10 years, as a system of care we have remained steadfast, determined, and focused upon achieving our mission and vision of protecting children, strengthening families and changing lives.
“Quietly, over the past decade, community-based care transformed our system from one of the nation’s worst to best.”
– Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush 2012