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12 Programs Selected for ‘Family Supports’

CSC leon Intent to Award: Family Supports Funding

On Monday, June 26, the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC Leon) approved the intent to fund 12 applications received as part of its funding cycle for Family Supports. The objective of this funding cycle is to invest in a wide variety of programs that reach children, youth and families in their neighborhoods to promote connectivity, facilitate access to resources and increase family functioning. The selected programs cross priority areas, utilize research informed practices and standards, deploy a wide variety of service modalities, and have the potential to serve more than 2,000 children, youth and families. The specifics for each program selected and the amounts initially allocated are listed below.

Family Strengthening and Parent Education Programs
These programs are designed to promote protective factors, increase family self-sufficiency and prevent child maltreatment. Funding listed is for 26 months.

  • Reduction of Girl’s Circle waitlist by The Oasis Center for Women & Girls, Inc.: $414,134.39
  • 24/7 Dad Expansion by Carters Corner Community Services: $202,204.87
  • Free legal services by Legal Services of North Florida: $476,128.00
  • Increase counseling services at night and on weekends for families (plus child care) by The Oasis Center for Women & Girls, Inc.: $543,427.91
  • Transitional housing and supports for at-risk moms with young children in the Making Miracles Phase II Group Home: $100,000.00
  • Expansion of the REACH Therapy Model for Pace Center for Girls, Inc. participants and their families: $300,000.00
  • Expansion of W.E.L.L. Navigators to assist families in specific neighborhoods provided by Divine Healthcare Consulting, LLC dba SG Mental Health Counseling: $249,636.94

Youth Mentoring
These programs are designed to promote positive youth development through the intentional paring of youth with caring, non-parental adults in a mentoring relationship. Priority was given to programs with a focus on youth violence prevention. Funding listed is for 14 months.

  • Enhancement of mentoring services offered by the Omega Lamplighters and launch of interactive youth violence prevention presentation at six Leon County Schools: $294,736.33
  • Maintenance of newly launched Boys & Girls Club in the Fort Braden community and the introduction of research-supported mentoring curricula: $285,650.70
  • Increase staff capacity to supervise Safe Families of Florida mentoring program more effectively: $25,000.00
  • Reduction of Big Brothers Big Sisters waitlist: $300,000.00
  • Expansion of Game Changer Life Skills Mentoring Program at area schools by Urban Family Sports Inc. dba First Tee Tallahassee: $74,271.69

This funding is the start of long-term funding to implement new programs and expand existing ones to meet specific needs identified by the public in the 2022 Needs Assessment and 2023 Family Listening Sessions. Upon contract execution, the selected entities will receive a portion of their funds as an allocation at the beginning of the project period and be required to submit detailed reports at prescribed intervals outlining expenses, outcomes and demographics of individuals served to receive additional disbursements. Programs who successfully meet their contract deliverables may be eligible for continued funding.

In total, CSC Leon received 26 applications from 22 entities and deemed six as “non-responsive” due to not meeting the experience criteria or not completing the application in its entirety. Of the remaining applications, the total amount requested was $4.56 million for Family Strengthening and $1.79 million for Youth Mentoring. Each application was independently reviewed by external evaluators from the community. Each evaluator received training and a detailed evaluation manual, and was required to disclose real or perceived conflicts of interest. Upon disclosure, alternate evaluators were used, consistent with CSC Leon practices established in May 2022.

Consistent with the “request for proposals” style of procurement, the Family Strengthening Community Impact Panel was instructed to formulate a recommendation considering the final scores, amount requested, and program modality to ensure diverse distribution of service types and neighborhoods reached. In addition, they were tasked with recommending the majority of funds be invested in the “research-supported” category of applicants.

The Youth Mentoring Community Impact Panel only provided scores to the Council, also consistent with the “request for applications” style of procurement.

The Governing Council met Monday, June 26, to review the scores and recommendations from the community impact panels and make a determination of which programs to fund. After lengthy debate, Council members accepted the recommendation of the Family Strengthening panel and selected the top highest scoring youth mentoring applications.

This methodology resulted in 12 applications being selected to move forward in the funding process for Family Supports, with a total requested of $3,265,190.83. Please note this is not the final award amount, but rather the cap per awardee pending internal budget request audit.

Those applicants not selected for funding will have the opportunity to receive personalized and group technical assistance to help understand the strengths and opportunities of their application and build capacity to make future applications more competitive.

To learn more about the original call for proposals and applications, click here.

Note, CSC Leon also published an “Invitation to Negotiate” for Family Resource Center Management and received two responses. However, the initial evaluation provided by an independent community panel determined that neither response met the level of expectation required to proceed forward. As such, the Council issued its intent to “reject all and re-issue the solicitation at a later time” to allow the Council to do better education on its intent regarding this funding priority. More information on this decision is available here .