FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview (FFN) represents a partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to provide an array of foster care and related services in coordination with network partners. The network includes DCF, Lakeview Center, as the lead agency, judiciary sub-contracted service providers, foster parents, the District One Community Alliance, agency stakeholders, and the community working together to implement the legislative mandate for community based care. Services include case management for out-of-home and in-home placements; foster home recruitment, training, recommendation for licensure, and support; adoption support; independent living program; dependency court resource facilitation; sub-contract management; and other related services to abused and neglected children and their families.
FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview is a program of Lakeview Center. FFN was awarded the contract from the State of Florida Department of Children and Families for community based care of foster care and related services as outlined in Florida Statute 409.1671 on April 1, 2001. FFN's primary goal is to establish safety and permanency and to support the well-being of abused and neglected children in Northwest Florida. It accomplishes this by providing child protective services to families, independent living services for teens and youth who age out of foster care, adoptive services for children in the dependency system, and placing foster children in licensed foster homes and residential facilities. The Department of Children and Families maintains jurisdiction over the reports of Abuse and Neglect through the Florida Abuse Hotline and the investigation of the abuse and neglect allegations in this District. Only the Department can remove a child from the custody of its parents based on the results of the investigation and recommend the child be sheltered. The Dependency Court in each county makes the final decision to remove a child from the custody of its parents and to return the child after services have been provided.
"Effective July 2014, the State Legislature enacted numerous changes to laws and programs intended to protect children from abuse and neglect. These laws modified requirements for child abuse investigation services provided by the Department of Children and Families and amended laws establishing the State's privatized child welfare services through the community-based care agencies. The purposes of Ch. 39, F.S., were also modified to emphasize the premise that the safety of children is the paramount concern in the dependency process. As FamiliesFirst Network, a division of Lakeview Center, is the community-based care agency for Northwest Florida, the information provided here is to comply with Florida Statutes."
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Sponsored by Lakeview Center and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families