|Grants Will Help At-Risk Families Overcome Circumstantial Hurdles|
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|SARASOTA – The Florida Center for Early Childhood received $45,000 in grants to help expand developmental therapy services in Sarasota and North Port and provide enhanced treatment options to at-risk children and families. |
A $20,000 grant from the Jerome and Mildred Paddock Foundation and a $25,000 Community Foundation of Sarasota County Equity and Access Grant, both give families better access to early intervention services despite financial or transportation hurdles.
The Jerome and Mildred Paddock Foundation grant will support the developmental and social-emotional well-being of young children with disabilities who are uninsured or have insurance limitations on therapy.
“After a child has an assessment and a therapist recommends a treatment plan, there are sometimes discrepancies with the insurance company when it comes to frequency or provider,” explained Dr. Kristie Skoglund, The Florida Center CEO. “This funding will ensure at-risk children get the therapy they need.”
The grant will also allow for mentoring and consultation for parents/caregivers, which is often not reimbursable from the insurance companies.
The Community of Sarasota County Equity and Access Grant will ensure children with disabilities receive wrap-around therapeutic services while attending The Florida Center’s Starfish Academy preschool. Children can receive occupational, speech/language and/or mental health services throughout their day, lessoning the burden on their parents to take them to separate appointments at different locations.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Skoglund. “The onsite therapy model is convenient for parents and teachers alike. The therapists and teachers actually work together to help the children progress more quickly in achieving their developmental goals.”
Research has shown that early intervention services like occupational, mental health and speech/language therapies have long-lasing results and directly affect outcomes such as special education placement, grade retention, high school graduation rates, employment and social welfare, according to the Rand Corporation.
“When you have a child with special needs it’s a long and emotional journey to help them reach their full potential,” said Skoglund. “The funding from these foundations helps families overcome their financial hurdles so they can focus on what’s important, the success of their child’s development.”
|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. For more information, visit www.thefloridacenter.org or call 941-371-8820.|