Family Support Services
Contact: John Daigle
May 26, 2021
Agency Looking for a Space Where Parents Can Meet with Children in Foster Care
YULEE, Fla. – Nonprofit Family Support Services of North Florida, the area’s lead child welfare agency, seeks the use of a vacant home or commercially zone property in Nassau County where parents seeking to regain custody of their children who are in foster care can have supervised visits and receive required training.
FSS and its community partners help hundreds of families each year overcome challenges and reunite. When children are removed from a home and placed in foster care, the organizations ensure families stay connected and bonded through guided visitations while parents receive training and work to regain custody.
Weekly supervised visits typically occur in a local office setting, but officials believe they can better coach parents and work on real-life skills in a setting more like a real home, said Gwen Tennant-Evans, Director of FSS’s Nassau Service Center.
“We need a place where our staff can simulate a home-life environment and host these visitations in a more true-to-life, hands-on environment,” Tennant-Evans said. “A home setting will allow case managers to offer therapy, training and coaching in a comfortable setting that will help families connect and bond throughout the reunification process. Such a home would also provide a more spacious setting so that FSS and its partners could accommodate more families, more quickly.”
Family visits take 60 to 90 minutes each week. The ideal place to host these visits would be a vacant home or other property that could be made to simulate a home environment. It would need to be in Nassau County, preferably the central area of the county near Highway 17, or in West Nassau County, Tennant-Evans said.
Those interested in helping fulfill this critical need can find out more information on FSS’s website at fssjax.org or by calling FSS Director of Community Development Whitney Butler at (904) 265-8097.
Family Support Services of North Florida (FSSNF) is the lead agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in Duval and Nassau counties. Through community-based care, FSSNF provides services and programs to help prevent child abuse and neglect, to promote a healthy family environment and to care for our community’s children in foster care. For more information, visit www.fssjax.org.