SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – For foster children awaiting either placement with a foster family or reunification with their biological parent(s), Grammie’s House is Safe Children Coalition’s licensed group home where youths can receive the care they need. While in care, children are transported to their regular schools, activities and medical providers in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties to reduce the disruption in their lives.
Previously, children at Grammie’s House were transported in a safe but 17-year-old van. To assist Safe Children Coalition (SCC) in securing a new van, the Mark and Susan Butt Philanthropy Fund of Manatee Community Foundation awarded SCC a grant of $35,000, which the nonprofit leveraged to purchase a new vehicle from a local auto dealership.
Since March of 2020, Safe Children Coalition has operated Grammie’s House in Sarasota. In its first year, Grammie’s House served nearly 60 children – who otherwise might not have been placeable within Circuit 12 – keeping them connected to their families, schools, familiar medical care, and other activities. Approximately half of the children are Manatee County residents who require transport to and from Grammie’s House to maintain as regular a schedule as possible.
Grammie’s House was opened due to the increased need for secure placement of foster youth experiencing displacement for reasons including a lack of foster care homes, disruption of current placements, and complex needs related to therapeutic care. Prior to opening the group home, youths might have needed to be placed outside of Circuit 12 (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties) or even out of state – especially children who are severely mentally and/or behaviorally challenged.
“Regardless of the children’s county of origin, we are committed to keeping them connected to as many familiar routines and places as possible, to maintain stability,” said Brena Slater, president and CEO of Safe Children Coalition. “While the van is a tangible item, what it represents is dignity for children who have experienced so much trauma in their young lives. We are so grateful to the Mark and Susan Butt Philanthropy Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation for showing these children that the community truly cares about their success.”
While the grant was awarded in the fall of 2021, a shortage of inventory caused a three-month delay in SCC’s ability to purchase an appropriate vehicle. The new van was secured in January.
For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies that provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include: child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services as well as other social service programs. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.