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Early Childhood Court Teams Are Awarded Grant

Pensacola, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2016) – The Florida Institute for Child Welfare has awarded a grant to enhance the functioning of the Early Childhood Court Teams (ECCTs) serving Escambia and Okaloosa counties. The goal is to improve the overall well-being of children up to age 3 who have been removed from their homes due to maltreatment.

The ECCT ensure that children in the child welfare system receive a range of health and psychosocial services including early intervention for developmental delays to ensure their safety, enhance their well-being, increase chances of reunification, and reach permanency more quickly. FamiliesFirst Network (FFN), a program of Lakeview Center, is the community-based network provider contracted by the Florida Department of Children and Families to serve the state's first judicial circuit.

FFN and other community agencies and organizations, collaborate to provide many services primarily to disproportionately affected persons. Many of these people share similar factors such as poverty and community norms that support risky behaviors, which create a need for these services. This grant opportunity will allow these agencies to provide evaluation and training for ECCT including trauma-informed care (TIC) to help provide sustainable performance improvements. TIC training topics will include:

  • Effects of trauma in children
  • How to engage parents who have their own trauma history
  • Vicarious trauma (contributing to burnout) for workers serving individuals with trauma histories.

FFN has provided coordinating support for an Early Childhood Court Team in Escambia County since September 2013 and in Okaloosa County since March 2015.

An affiliate of Baptist Health Care, Lakeview Center Inc. is a network of behavioral health, vocational and child protective services. These services address a broad spectrum of human needs, reflecting a longstanding commitment to helping people overcome life's challenges.

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