In Circuit 10 serving Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties
Devereux Kids’ Gap Program started in Circuit 10 in May 2007, serving Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties to assist relative and non-relative caregivers within the first 30 days of a child being placed into their home. Caregivers are invited to attend an orientation regularly held in their county and are given the opportunity to speak with professionals about issues potentially affecting the stability of the placement. In addition, caregivers receive community resource information and are provided with one-on-one assistance in completing important documents. Whereas, the caregivers who do not attend the orientation may have to wait three to six months for approval of Relative Funds, Temporary Cash Assistance, Medicaid or food stamps; Devereux Kids Gap participants receive their results within twenty-four hours in most cases.
Devereux Kids staff goes the extra mile to ensure caregivers are fully informed of local resources and educated on the system of care and benefits available to them. Prior to the implementation of the Gap Program, Devereux Kids staff members committed three months to research resources and visit each provider to discuss the details of their application process. We have collaborated with ACCESS Florida, the school system, child care providers and other community support services so that an array of resources are provided to caregivers at each session. Caregivers are also provided with the opportunity to connect to support groups and to have assistance in connecting with resources.
How did the families Benefit from Devereux Kids Gap Project?
Children were placed with family members and/or loved ones in their own community.
Children remained connected with their schools, social and recreation activities.
Caregivers continue to support the child’s participation in cultural activities.
Children had a stable placement.
Caregivers were more active in case plans.
Caregiver anxiety reduced.
For more complex cases, Devereux Kids provides Family Team Conferencing for caregivers to help them connect to additional services. As of June 30, 2008, 400 children were placed with relative/non-relative caregivers in Circuit 10. Of those, caregivers for 316 of the children chose to attend the Devereux Kids Gap Project. At the time of this report, 100% (316/316) were eligible to participate in the 90-day follow-up assessment. This revealed that 306 out of 316 children were in the same placement or had not returned to the system of care. Thus, early analysis demonstrates an excellent 97% success rate.
1419 W. Waters Ave. Suite 117 Tampa, FL 33604
(866) 611-5610 - Fax
507 N. Market Street
Bushnell, FL 33513
1 (866) 611-0728 - Fax