Tallahassee, FL (WTXL) — Hope Florida launched 18 months ago under the Department of Children and Families and has already impacted over 50,000 families statewide. DCF Director Shevaun Harris said that under the DCF, families can get help finding jobs, housing, and more. Under the Department of Juvenile Justice, we will focus on helping children at risk of entering the DJJ system.
“Their Hope Navigators work with parents and families, so they are not just focused on children. It will also be something to work on,” said Harris.
Isabela Rodriguez is Hope Florida’s Youth Ambassador under DJJ. She had a troubled childhood growing up and she ended up in a residential facility for four months. She says having a mentor made the difference.
“Going through these things and meeting other youth ambassadors made me realize that what we all have in common is mentorship,” Rodriguez said.
First Lady Casey DeSantis says mentorship can make a big difference in a child’s life.Hope Navigators helps connect parents with mentoring programs for children.
“What we discovered is that we may have the best programs in the world, we may have the best resources, but if people don’t know they exist, what’s the value?” Is there? It’s a meaningful but limited way,” said DeSantis.
Rodriguez is emotional to learn that the program is expanding so he can help children before they get into trouble.
“I know it’s going to change a lot of lives, and it’s already been,” Rodriguez said. It will prevent you from entering a dark dark hole that you could not get out of.”
With the program’s expansion, Harris said both the DCF and DJJ programs can work together to help families in Florida.
“Our team works very closely together and if their program fails to help families in a particular area, our team can step in and work seamlessly to make it happen. I know you can.
Harris says the biggest thing they want is to spread awareness of the program. We encourage you to
To get help through the Hope Florida program, call 850-300-HOPE or call their website.
https://www.wtxl.com/news/local-news/hope-florida-expands-services-to-department-of-juvenile-justice Hope Florida Expands Services to Department of Juvenile Justice