Community-Based Care

What Is Community-Based Care?

Community-Based Care is a comprehensive redesign of Florida's Child Welfare System. It combines the outsourcing of foster care and related services to competent service agencies with an increased local community ownership of service delivery and design. This innovative statewide reform increases accountability, resource development, and system performance.

Program Description:

The department's community-based care initiative has captured the interest of the nation by actively negotiating and contracting with respected local, non-profit agencies to provide child welfare services in their local communities for children who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned. Communities coming together on behalf of their most vulnerable children demonstrates what community-based care was designed to do: transition child protective services to local providers under the direction of lead agencies and community alliances of stakeholders working within their community to ensure safety, well-being, and permanency for the children in their care..

A statewide network of comprehensive, community-based care agencies have been equipped to manage and deliver services to Florida's foster youth.

This innovative new system includes key features that address common problems and challenges in child welfare systems, such as;

  • Contracting with, local lead agencies through competitive procurement to engage community stakeholders in designing their system of care, and to develop and maintain a service delivery network within their service area.
  • Formation and support of Community Alliances of local stakeholders, community leaders, client representatives, and other agencies funding human services. An Alliance may cover one or more counties, as determined locally. Duties of Community Alliances include, but are not limited to joint planning for resource utilization, needs assessments and establishment of community priorities, determination of local outcome goals supplemental to state outcome requirements, and community education and advocacy.
  • A formal process was developed for assessing and preparing local Department units and Lead Agencies to safely transition services from the state to the local provider network. The Department's Readiness Assessment process utilizes an external team of Peer Experts to assess the development of the local infrastructure and transition plans, as well as provide technical assistance to both parties prior to initiating transfer of any services.