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FGCU Helps Develop Inter-Agency Team to Coordinate Social Services for Children in Local Communities
2/3/2004

FORT MYERS, FL - The Florida Gulf Coast University College of Professional Studies and Center for Public and Social Policy recently announced a new program, funded by a $248,375 federal grant, that will help local communities provide better access to children’s social services.

The goal of the new program, the Inter-Agency Staffing Team, is to support the development of a system of coordinated services to children and families in Lee County.

The IAST addresses the need for holistic prevention and intervention services that serve youth and their families with multiple needs, including those that are not met by existing programming.

The multidisciplinary team assesses referred youth, age 8 through 13, and their families using a strengths-based model. With the youth and family, the team devises an individualized Family Service Plan.

An assigned case manager coordinates the team’s services to the family. An FGCU student is designated to serve as an intensive case monitor who will mentor the youth when appropriate.

The youth and family receive services that are provided for by the existing social service structure in a coordinated, non-duplicative effort, as well as non-traditional services such as respite care for parents and school field trips for youth.

As a means for on-going evaluation of the program, regular meetings are conducted to ensure that appropriate services are delivered and needs are met.

The Inter-Agency Staffing Team is a partnership between the FGCU College of Professional Studies and Lee County Human Services. The U.S. Department of Justice is funding the program.

The goal of the FGCU Center for Public and Social Policy is to enhance the community development and social well-being of the citizenry of the Southwest Florida region through public management assistance, applied research, policy analysis and public dialogue.

For more information, contact program director Johnny McGaha or program coordinator Tony A. Barringer at (239) 590-7821.

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