Children’s Home Society of Florida Celebrates 120 Years
Children’s Home Society of Florida Celebrates 120 Years- Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) is celebrating 120 years of devoted service to children and families. Founded November 17, 1902, CHS was established as a child welfare society focused on placing children in safe, loving healthy homes.
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Before the invention of bubble gum or the Model T. Ford, CHS was uniting Florida residents to come to the aid of vulnerable children. Throughout the decades, the organization leveraged its legacy and influence to secure rights and welfare laws for children nationwide including the development of U.S. compulsory education and child labor laws.
Recognized as a national leader in child well-being and trauma-informed care, CHS continues to lead the way in identifying and addressing key issues facing Florida’s children and families. While remaining true to roots in child welfare, CHS has evolved to also deliver early childhood programs and in-home solutions that stabilize and strengthen families.
Though CHS continues to serve children and families in the child welfare system through family visitation and specialized counseling and support, the local focus has greatly evolved to empower families on the front end. Through CHS’ Healthy Families program, which supports parents and caregivers with children ages birth to 5, for example, 100 percent of participating families in Seminole county remained safely intact and out of the foster care system in 2020-2021.
CHS is also a renowned provider of mental health care including individual and family therapy, in-school counseling and Targeted Case Management, which supports families with children who express disruptive or challenging behaviors. Across Central Florida and the Space Coast, 85% of CHS’ Targeted Case Management participants were successfully diverted from a higher level of care including entering the foster care system.
In addition, the organization provides in-school solutions such as the innovative Community Partnership Schools™ model that’s transforming outcomes for students in Orange County.
“Children’s Home Society of Florida’s founding and longevity would not have been possible without community support,” said Andry Sweet, Children’s Home Society of Florida President & CEO. “Under the guidance of Rev. D.W. Comstock and then the inspiring leadership of Marcus C. Fagg, it took community partnerships, friends, volunteers and do-gooders coming together to make new opportunities for children who otherwise would not have had safe, stable homes. Today, we continue to inspire good and create opportunities for children to realize their full potential.”
CHS opened its first location in Central Florida in 1963 to better serve local children and families. In 2000, CHS relocated its home office from Jacksonville to Winter Park to provide a more central location to support the organization statewide. Today, CHS’ Central Florida region serves more than 20,000 children and families throughout the tri-county area.
Looking forward to the next 120 years, the organization offers several opportunities to get involved and become a part of CHS’ storied history. To learn more visit https://chsfl.org/home-page/120-years-of-inspiring-good/.
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