A Place to Call Home
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SOS Children’s Villages?
On a cul-de-sac in the heart of Coconut Creek is a neighborhood like no other. A place where foster children come to live and grow with the nurturing and stability every child deserves. That neighborhood is SOS Children’s Villages - Florida. SOS Children’s Villages - Florida’s mission is to provide a nurturing environment that empowers children, youth, and families to achieve their potential. SOS opened in 1993 to provide long-term care to abused, abandoned and severely neglected foster children who were unlikely to be adopted or reunited with their birth families. Today, we have twelve homes for 75 foster children, ages two to 18. Currently our population is: 41% African American, 14% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 20% Haitian/Caribbean/Bi-Racial and 51% are male and 49% are female. Because many of the boys and girls were in multiple failed placements prior to arriving and were often separated from their biological brothers and sisters, special emphasis is placed on reuniting sibling groups. In addition to a safe and supportive home, SOS also provides support services and programs for our boys and girls. Because of the unfortunate circumstances and situations from their childhood, our children need special help in dealing with their emotions, deficiencies in school, social skills and behavior, and independent living preparation. SOS’ program is unique in that all support services are offered on-site.
SOS continues to be the only agency that allows those children aging out of foster care at age 18 to remain in the village while in high school. Since 1993, we have provided a nurturing and stable home to 400 children. We are the largest residential provider of foster care in Broward County. SOSâ€™ high school graduation rate is 83% compared to the 50% national graduation rate of foster care youth; and 47% of SOS children go on to enroll in college compared with 15% of foster care children nationwide. These outcomes show the impact SOS makes in the lives of the children we serve.
Healing, Hope and Home for Every Child Many of our children come from a world of abuse, abandonment and neglect. A combination of therapy, nurturing and encouragement help our boys and girls begin a road of healing and recovery. With the support of SOS and a community of friends, each child begins a new journey of hope. Tutoring, life skills classes, new responsibilities and new experiences rebuild self-confidence and teach children to trust again realizing that tomorrow will be another day. At its core, SOS is a family, reuniting brothers and sisters and creating a place that is safe, secure and stable. For young children coming to the Village or young adults just starting out on their own, SOS is always a place to call home.
Phase One Phase one of the "A Place to Call Home " Campaign will rejuvenate the facilities and equipment of S0S Children's Villages - Florida. We will improve the quality and condition of homes for all children by remodeling and refurbishing twelve existing houses, converting a service building to a residence, and converting another service building to a welcome center to provide much needed space for parental/family visitation, case management and counseling. New furniture, appliances, finishes, bathroom repairs, lighting, window treatments, carpeting, tile, and fresh paint will provide all of our children with a comfortable, uplifting environment. Additionally, each residence will be updated with high speed internet access and equipment to assure that our kids are adequately prepared to exist and excel in a "wired" world.
“Our plan is not just an investment in our facilities and programs; it is a commitment to the children and community we serve, and that is the greatest investment we can make.” -- Keith G. DuVernay - CEO – SOS Children’s Villages
Learning for Life Center - Phase Two Phase two of the "A Place to Call Home " Campaign will create a new center dedicated to providing the educational environment and expanded space necessary to continue to strengthen our children's confidence, character and courage to begin a life of independence. It will provide much needed space to expand programs and services for our tutoring programs, fostering parents programs, life skills classes, and indoor recreation activities. Additionally, the Learning for Life Center will provide a category 5 hurricane rated facility that will offer the needed safety shelter for our children and staff when the inevitable hurricane approaches south Florida.
Proposed Capital Campaign Budget Phase One - Revitalization & Upgrades of Existing Facilities/Equipment ° 12 Buildings @ $93,500 each Finishes
(flooring, lighting, wall paint/coverings, window treatments)
(kitchen + 3 baths)
(Refrig, range, micro, washer/dryer, freezer)
(commercial/institutional grade bedroom and living area)
(high speed wifi connectivity, tablets for kids educational and entertainment use)
° Conversion of 3651 to Residence
° Conversion of 3681 to Welcome Center
° 10 Addl. House Vehicles @ $25,000
(3 of 13 Vans Already Sponsored at $75,000)
° Soft Costs Architectural @ 6%
Engineering @ 5%
Legal & Accounting @ 4%
Permit Fees @ 1%
Phase One Total
Phase Two – Learning for Life Center ° Building Costs 14,280 s.f. @ $160 s.f.
° Soft Costs Architectural @ 6%
Engineering @ 5%
Legal & Accounting @ 4%
Permit Fees @ 1%
(parks, schools, roads)
° Furnishings/Equipment ° Capital Reserve (Operating Endowment)
TBD $ 250,000 $1,719,132
Phase Two Total ° Campaign Implementation Costs (3 yrs)
Total Campaign Costs
$4,619,500 $ 380,500
Help Us Provide Them With
A Place to Call Home
With the success of this effort, SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages - Florida can continue to make a tremendously positive impact on the lives of children throughout the community. Certainly it will take all of us, working with vision today to bring hope and opportunity to others tomorrow. Raising $7 million will not be an easy task, but success depends on the dedication and commitment of caring leaders like you who are willing to set an example for the rest of the community to follow. As you consider helping SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages - Florida by investing in this important community project, please know that your participation is deeply appreciated. More importantly, know that there is no greater gift you could possible grant than an investment in the future of a child.
Projected Campaign Gift Requirements The following is a sample gift chart which reflects the gifts required to successfully complete a $7
million campaign over a five-year pledge period.
Board of Directors & Administration Officers Nick Catania, President UBS Financial Services
Peter Kendrigan Wheelabrator
Leslie Barber, VP Governance / Secretary Trion Management Group
William Kramer Brinkley Morgan
Kristina Stein, VP Finance
Ron Luzim Law Offices of Ronald A. Luzim, PA
Patricia Pierce, VP Fund Development American Express Brian Holland, Member At Large Fleet Advantage
Members Roxanna Brown Citrix Systems Jay DiPietro Boca West Country Club Erica Doyle Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale Marcy Falcone Falcone Group
Michael Pike Berman, Critton, Luttier & Coleman LLP Barrington Russell Barrington Russell Realty Mark Solomon Global Systems Telecom Teresa Valdes Hempel USA
Ex-Officio Keith G. DuVernay Chief Executive Officer SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages
Connie Finley Executives' Association of Fort Lauderdale
Foster children have experienced tumultuous pasts involving multiple failed placements, and have endured abuse, abandonment and severe neglect. They often suffer from early childhood deprivation, learning disabilities and low self-esteem. When they enroll in school, they are often placed in classes with their peers only to find they are unable to perform satisfactorily. Other times, these children are placed in grades much lower than their chronological peers and feel isolated and out-of-place. All of the children residing at SOS have access to the tutoring program. Our goal is to increase our children's chance of success in school and help them perform at their optimal potential. An initial assessment for each child is completed and a learning plan is created based on individual needs. Students work in groups of up to six and each work on their own level of material for three hours a week. Additional help with homework and study skills assistance is offered each day. Independent Living: It is imperative that foster care children learn the skills needed to survive independently when they come of age so they do not face homelessness and unemployment. To meet this need, S0S has developed a comprehensive Independent Living Skills program which teaches life skills, career development, and college preparation to teens 13 and older. The program offers training in daily living skills such as personal hygiene, nutrition, health care, sexual responsibility, meal planning and preparation, transportation, housekeeping, and money management. Independent living skills taught include educational planning, career preparation, job seeking, interview training, accessing community resources, and finding safe, affordable housing. After Care Services: Our After Care services help foster children make the transition from state-supported care to independence. Isolated by their lack of family resources, these children need a support system that includes counseling, referral services and emergency financial assistance. SOS helps youth who are exiting foster care receive help obtaining jobs, continuing their education, gaining access to community resources and social services, and by providing emergency assistance funds for urgent needs such as utility bills, housing, transportation, clothing and food. There is no upper age limit for a former SOS youth to receive our services. 10
Individual and group mental health therapy: SOS offers on-site individual, family and group counseling to our children who are suffering from issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, attachment disorder, and grief and loss. Children are enrolled in mental health counseling based on their current level of function as identified by their psychiatrist, therapist, Direct Care Staff, Program Manager, and Case Managers. Children receive one to two hours of individual mental health counseling each week to address the challenges related to their tumultuous pasts. Group counseling is conducted within the SOS home, or with identified groups of children. These sessions focus on specific issues and are usually timelimited (six to eight weeks). Children usually receive mental health counseling for nine to 24 months; however sessions continue throughout the year as children are evaluated and their progress is monitored weekly by the treatment team. Behavioral Health Program: SOSâ€™ step system teaches our children to learn and practice appropriate behavior among adults, peers, in school, on the job, and in social situations. Because of their pasts, some children come to S0S and exhibit maladaptive behaviors including physical and verbal aggression, self-injury, sexual inappropriateness, and oppositional defiant behavior. Our goal is to teach and reinforce adaptive behaviors, and to reduce the incidence, frequency and/or intensity of maladaptive behaviors. This is done through a system which rewards adaptive behaviors, but delivers natural consequences for maladaptive behaviors. SOS' step system program integrates the work that is done on a therapeutic level with work done in the home, to help our children improve behavior, manage emotions, learn and practice coping skills, and make good choices. As positive behaviors continue and skills are mastered, the child moves through the system. The system has four steps, and prior to moving from one to the next, each child must demonstrate they have mastered specific life skills in addition to positive behavior. SOS Direct Care Staff and Case Managers monitor and track behaviors for each child within their home and this is reviewed during the team meetings. Medical Services: When children come into foster care, initial medical and dental screenings are conducted as well as assessment of the child's developmental, nutritional, and mental health status. The medical needs of the children placed at SOS are then managed by our full time on-site Nurse who carefully oversees and monitors each child's progress. The nurse is responsible for scheduling and arranging transportation, two dental visits and one physical exam for each child plus any specialist or emergency room visits needed. The nurse also provides training to child care staff on the medical needs of our children, as well as CPR and first aid to all SOS staff members. Children's Activities: Children's Activities include extra-curricular activities such as band, cheerleading, football, music, dance, etc. and summer camp so foster care youth can integrate and socialize with non-foster children and develop their personal interests and skills outside of the classroom. 11
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Published on May 23, 2013