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Gainesville, FlaPartnership for Strong Families, Inc. (PSF),
the lead community-based care agency under contract with the Department of
Children and Families for 13 counties in north central Florida, announced today
that they were awarded a five-year federal grant from the Children’s Bureau
within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on
Children, Youth and Families. The grant, which will bring in more than $2
million over the next five years, will allow PSF to rigorously evaluate their
Resource Center Model and establish a new Resource Center in Lake City.

The Community
Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families
grant funds cooperative
agreements that support the development, implementation and evaluation of
primary prevention strategies to improve the safety, stability and well-being
of all families through a continuum of community-based services and supports.
PSF is one of only nine agencies to be awarded the grant nationally, and the
only recipient in Florida.

The grant will support PSF’s Resource
Center Model, which utilizes the protective factors framework to increase
family strengths and stability and decrease the likelihood of child abuse and
neglect. PSF has established four Resource Centers serving communities with
historically high rates of child maltreatment: the Library Partnership Resource
Center, SWAG Family Resource Center, Cone Park Library Resource Center and
Tri-County Community Resource Center.

“The support from the Children’s Bureau
will allow our agency to build upon what we already know to be a successful
model,” said Stephen Pennypacker, President and CEO for Partnership for Strong
Families. “The grant dollars received will help identify and highlight the components
of our Resource Center Model that are directly associated with reducing rates
of child maltreatment and entries into foster care.”

In 2018, the Resource Centers saw more
than 35,000 visits and provided 46,607 distinct services. Since opening their
first center in 2009, data shows an overall 79% decrease in the rates of
verified maltreatment for the zip codes served by their three Gainesville
Resource Centers.

“The impact made in Gainesville and
Chiefland has been promising, and we now have the opportunity to expand our
Model to another area that may benefit,” said Pebbles Edelman, Senior Vice
President of Clinical and Community Services for PSF. “We are eager to grow our
collaborations in Lake City as we prepare to open a Resource Center that will
be developed to meet the specific needs of this community.”

To learn
more about Partnership for Strong Families’ Resource Centers, visit https://www.pfsf.org/resourcecenters/.

Child abuse is preventable
We can help change the lives of many children and teens.

A hallmark of PSF’s system of care is our belief that child abuse is preventable. We have found that by providing resources and supports to families in need on the front end, many can avoid reaching the crises that lead to formal child welfare involvement functions.

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