|SARASOTA – As the leading provider of early childhood mental health, developmental services, and family counseling, The Florida Center for Early Childhood is committed to continuing services for vulnerable children and families during the COVID-19 crisis. As the threat of the virus becomes increasingly serious, safety is the utmost priority. Based on information from the Governor’s Office, Centers for Disease Control, and other agencies, we will now provide critical mental health support and counseling through confidential phone and video services rather than in-person sessions.|
This crisis is unprecedented, and our primary concern is to protect our clients and staff. Existing clients will receive direct communication about therapy options moving forward. In cases when services cannot be provided remotely, such as our Starfish Academy Preschool, we are temporarily suspending operations. We will continue to take referrals for mental health counseling and the Healthy Families program (specialized support for at-risk pregnant women and new parents.)
“We are in unchartered territory,” said Kathryn Shea, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and CEO of The Florida Center. “One thing we do know is that more families than ever will need support, especially as so many are already facing hardships like poverty, substance abuse, and physical or mental health challenges. Our goal is to continue providing resources for caregivers that promote children’s healthy development and ultimately prevent child abuse.”
For positive approaches to handle the emotional stressors that children and families are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.thefloridacenter.org. Tips, tools, and resources will be regularly added to The agency website and social media pages. Those with service questions or needs may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-371-8820.
The community is asked to consider donating to The Florida Center to immediately support vulnerable children and families. All contributions are welcome online at www.thefloridacenter.org/donate/ or mailed to 4620 17th Street, Sarasota, FL 34235.
About the Florida Center for Early Childhood:For more than 40 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education and healthy development for young children in southwest Florida, offering a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and their family. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic.