Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Governor Ron Desantis and members of the Florida Cabinet recognized January 17, 2023 as Children’s Home Society of Florida Day [Read more…] about January 17, 2023 Declared Children’s Home Society of Florida Day
Children’s Home Society of Florida
Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) is celebrating 120 years of devoted service to children and families. [Read more…] about Children’s Home Society of Florida Celebrates 120 Years of Inspiring Good
Important Self-Care Tips
October is Emotional Wellness Month
Although the holiday season brings tremendous joy and togetherness, it can also bring stress and enormous pressure triggering significant mental health challenges. [Read more…] about At Children’s Home Society of Florida, emotional wellness is a priority
Children’s Home Society of Florida, offers mental health care tips and free counseling
Back to school can be a source of frustration and anxiety for students, parents and teachers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. [Read more…] about Five tips to emotionally prepare for back to school
In response to the extraordinary number of people struggling with anxiety, depression, grief and trauma in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) has launched the Family Support Warm Line. [Read more…] about Children’s Home Society of Florida is providing free telehealth counseling for people struggling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
Community Leaders join CHS to create a virtual library of children’s books
When the COVID-19 crisis catapulted Florida students into distance learning overnight, it led to an early start to the traditional “summer slide,” particularly for students in low-income families, as one in three parents living below the poverty level reported that they are “very concerned” about their children falling behind in learning, according to an NPR article that revealed the remote learning gaps for low-income students. [Read more…] about Children’s Home Society of Florida Launches Storytime with CHS
115 years of doing good for Florida’s children
On November 17, 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida first opened its doors as an orphanage to care for the growing number of children arriving on the infamous Orphan Trains that transported homeless children from the streets of New York City hoping to find families. The final stop was in Jacksonville, where more than 400 children arrived with nowhere to go.
Under the guidance of Rev. D.W. Comstock, CHS was established to address this pressing need. With a staff of two and a budget of $400, CHS cared for 34 children that first year, finding permanent homes for 21. It was the beginning of a 115-year legacy of providing solutions to society’s ever-changing challenges affecting children.
With an increasing demand for services, CHS grew beyond Jacksonville – and greater than an orphanage and adoption agency – in 1920, opening its first satellite office in Pensacola. Over the next 100 years, the organization’s presence and influence continued to expand, and the first office in Tampa Bay was established in 1958.
Over the past century, CHS has been the leader in identifying and addressing key issues facing children and families. While remaining true to its roots in adoption, CHS has evolved to also deliver early childhood programs, in-home solutions that stabilize and strengthen families, counseling and telehealth, foster care, and, most recently, the innovative community partnership school TM model that’s transforming outcomes in nearly a dozen Title I schools. Mort Elementary in Tampa adopted the model in 2016.
More than one million lives have changed because of CHS, including 1,200 every year in the Tampa Bay area. Annually, CHS builds bridges to success for more than 50,000 children and family members.
But CHS’ legacy of enacting change for children extends beyond service delivery, as its legislative influence helped establish child labor and compulsory education laws, and also played a pivotal role in the founding of the Child Welfare League of America, the agency now known as the Florida Department of Children and Families, the creation of Community Based Care, the privatization of child welfare that became the turning point for improved outcomes in Florida.
“Since our founding in 1902 as a single-site adoption agency, CHS has grown and evolved with each passing decade to remain the leader in addressing the shifting social needs of children and families,” said CHS President and CEO Michael Shaver. “Through the changing times, one constant has remained: our commitment to providing the right solutions at the right time to help more children realize their full potential.”
In Tampa and along the gulf, CHS is also providing safety and guidance while empowering youth to reach their full potential through Joshua House.
Orlando, Fla.-based Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) has achieved national accreditation from the Council on Accreditation (COA). The nonprofit, peer-driven COA seeks to improve delivery outcomes by accrediting organizations that demonstrate best practice standards in the field of human services. CHS has continually earned this distinct honor since 1982.
CHS is among less than 20 percent of organizations nationwide to achieve full or substantial implementation ratings for all of COA’s accreditation standards relevant to the organization, according to Richard Klarberg, COA’s president and chief executive officer. The standards are intended to ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce.
The accreditation process involved a detailed review and analysis of CHS’ administration, management, and service delivery functions. CHS first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards followed by on-site interviews with staff and clients by a group of specially-trained volunteer peer reviewers.
Comments from the Final Accreditation Report include:
- Case Management – “The case management programs at CHS are exceptional. Documentation is clear [and] concise. Staff are very engaged in assisting the children, adults and families they are serving by helping them to access and utilize supports which build upon their strengths.”
- Client Rights – “The organization respects the rights and dignity of their clients and it is shown throughout the organization.”
- Ethical Practice – “Very ethical organization. There is transparency across the organization. They are well respected by their public and private partners.”
- Performance and Quality Improvement – “CHS has a very robust and structured PQI system in place.”
- Training and Supervision – “Very robust, targeted, and comprehensive training and supervision policies and practices. Demonstrates forward thinking.”
- Supervised Visitation and Exchange Program – “The staff providing these services are very sensitive, passionate, and caring. Parents report feeling supported and cared for.”
- Pregnancy Support Services – “Staff are very dedicated to birth mothers as well as adoptive parents. It is often difficult to serve both but they are compassionate and able to work the triad very well.”
“This is a significant achievement for our organization,” said CHS President and CEO Michael Shaver. “COA re-accreditation affirms that we meet the highest national standards of best practice and provides assurances to all of our stakeholders that Children’s Home Society of Florida is delivering vital, high-quality services in our community, conducting our operations successfully, and managing our funds effectively.”
About Children’s Home Society of Florida
On the front lines since 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida is the oldest and largest statewide organization devoted to helping children and families. Children’s Home Society of Florida serves more than 50,000 children and family members throughout the state each year. More: www.chsfl.org.
The Council on Accreditation
Founded in 1977, the Council on Accreditation (COA) is an independent, not-for-profit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada. Over 2,000 organizations — voluntary, public, and proprietary; local and statewide; large and small — have either successfully achieved COA accreditation or are currently engaged in the process. Presently, COA has a total of 47 service standards that are applicable to over 125 different types of programs. To learn more about COA, please visit www.COAnet.org.