Neighborhood Family Centers
Devereux Kids: Neighborhood Family Centers
The intent of the neighborhood initiatives is to engage residents and families, and the resources from the broader community to address the underlying needs of families and neighborhoods that lead to poor outcomes for children. Applying the strengths based approach, each neighborhood has a designated staff person, ideally someone who lives in the neighborhood or has strong ties to the neighborhood, whose job it is to work with the informal and formal community leaders to become the decision-makers and the principle change agents within their respective neighborhoods. Staff also acts as a “broker” of services, helping local leaders to connect to resources in the broader communities that are available, but not necessarily accessible to the children and families in the selected neighborhoods. The research that informs the neighborhood projects comes from Northwestern University and its Asset Based Community Development Institute, the Annie E. Casey Foundation Making Connections Initiative and the growing research on improving protective factors in families as the means to promote child well being.
How do we get it done?
Community Facilitators are working everyday with their Neighborhood Advisory Councils, resident and business leaders and community partners to:
Who are our partners?
Neighborhood Family Centers benefit from the collaboration of Advisory Councils who have a shared interest in bringing and maintaining a quality life within their own back yard. Our councils are comprised of dedicated professionals from:
Where can you find existing Neighborhood Family Centers?
Since early 2009, Devereux Kids has established seven Neighborhood Family Centers throughout Circuit 5 in Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, and Hernando Counties. The following partners helped to implement the Neighborhood Family Centers Project in this area:
Devereux Kids experience in each of the areas served demonstrates that, when given the opportunity, residents will take an active role in transforming their neighborhoods. Each of the program sites offers a different array of opportunities because the residents have different strengths, priorities and challenges. Initial data on results demonstrate that resources, and accessibility to resources, are enhanced through our services. In the neighborhoods in which we have been operating over two years, data suggest that the number of children entering the child welfare system is improving. The long term goals of the program are to continue to give residents and families a voice in transforming their future, improve the social cohesion and protective factors in families and neighborhoods, and demonstrate that children are safe, successful in school and thriving in their homes and neighborhoods.