Mission Dedicated to creating cradle to career pathways for kids and young adults with developmental or learning challenges and helping their families navigate the complex journey.
Vision We envision a world where all children, regardless of their disabilities, will have every opportunity to be accepted, included, and provided with opportunities for meaningful engagement in their community.
Organizational Overview Now in our 26th year, Unicorn Children’s Foundation is committed to providing innovative programs that ensure individuals challenged by neurodiversity are appropriately assisted, supported, and included in the least restrictive ways to maximize their full potential. UCF is proud to foster community collaboration to ensure that families can access programs and services in a more efficient and equitable manner. Together we are leading the way to: n
Connect families to community resources
Advocate for inclusive opportunities
Our cradle to career programs empower parents with the tools and strategies to help their children flourish, create more inclusive communities, and provide job training for people with developmental or learning disorders. We look to the future and continue to advance acceptance, support, and opportunities for neurodiverse individuals and their families. n
Improve timely access to screening, assessment, and early diagnosis
Build caregiver knowledge and skills
Increase cadre of highly-qualified professionals
Improve transition practices
Increase career opportunities
Improve futures planning and advocacy
A Quick Note About UCF Operations During Covid-19 When social distancing restrictions were implemented in March 2020, isolation and depression soared among individuals with disabilities. Many are medically fragile and could no longer attend regular programs and therapies. Even more distressing, access to care became even more complex as offices reduced hours, staff, and numbers of individuals allowed within their walls. With few inperson services available, and even fewer providers able to deliver remote programs, individuals with disabilities were abruptly cut off from their normal lives, their necessary care, and our community. This resulted in a deleterious impact on physical and mental health and a significant regression in skills across a variety of developmental domains. With all challenges there exist silver linings! The transition to virtual programs has enabled us to expand our geographic outreach with program participants and partners from across the world. Even as we may begin to transition back to some in-person programs during 2021, we will continue to offer virtual or hybrid programs to ensure that transportation and geographic location are not barriers to receiving high-quality supports UCF has been working to fill this gap by providing virtual employment skills training, stress management, arts, and socio-recreational programming. Families affected by disabilities have been requesting these classes at an affordable price ever since COVID-19 upended their normal routines.
Why Our Families Need Your Help Nationally, one in six children between the ages of 3 and 17 are affected by developmental delays (Center for Disease Control). Neurological differences including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyspraxia, and others present life-long challenges for families to navigate as they strive for their loved ones to lead healthy, happy, productive lives. From meeting early developmental milestones to planning for independence or care transitions, the need for support and resources can seem overwhelming and never-ending. u 60% of students with a disability report being bullied regularly u Annual cost of traditional therapy averages $60,000
u 35% of parents feel isolated, guilty, stressed and worried about their children’s future u 62% of individuals with a disability are unemployed or underemployed
u 26% of individuals with a disability live below the poverty level
u People with disabilities are 2-3 times more likely to experience social isolation u There are few supports or services once the school bus stops coming (after the age of 22)
Programs In 2020-2021, UCF’s core activities fall into three main priority program areas: family navigation, transition to adulthood and collective impact.
Your support will provide a safety net and help improve the lives of people challenged by developmental and learning disorders and their families through robust support programs that meet their challenges along the cradle to career pathway. Our work helps build skills for parents, creates more inclusive communities, and provides job training for people with special needs. We also help families plan for the future and connect with resources to achieve both short-term and long-term goals for their loved ones. As we work directly with families in the community, we share insights and collaborate with community organizations to create a more accessible, integrated system of care and services for those affected by disabilities. With your help, we can build communities of acceptance, support, and opportunity for individuals and families challenged by neurodiversity so they can lead productive and meaningful lives.
UCF FAMILY NAVIGATION PROGRAMS Our family navigation programs are designed to strengthen and empower families through support, connection and education to facilitate their success at every stage of life. Research has demonstrated that early identification and intervention, as well as high expectations, are the best strategies for future success. These programs are built around enhancing the social determinants of health, including education, health/ healthcare access, and social & community context. UCF supports families through:
Unicorn Connection Center Unicorn Connection Center will serve as a one-stop shop where community members with special needs can connect, foster relationships, build community, and enhance their health and well-being by offering programs, activities and events in an inclusive setting.
Virtual Hub The virtual hub is a public, comprehensive and centralized web-based ‘hub’ that provides resources and links to community-based programs and services to create a more efficient and effective information and referral source within Palm Beach County. As the content is fairly universal, Unicorn is embarking on plans to collaborate with other communities to expand this valuable resource and enhance its regional usefulness.
Early Start Denver Model Parent Training for Low Income Families The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an individualized, evidence-based developmental intervention for children with autism between the ages of 12-48 months, based on the methods of applied behavior analysis (ABA). In this comprehensive, empirically tested intervention, parents are empowered with tools and strategies that can be incorporated into everyday routines, activities, and places that build positive and fun relationships and result in improved language, social and cognitive skills for their child.
Navigate Your Journey Conference
The conference is designed for self-advocates and families to meet them where they are at and help them organize their dreams, goals, and ambitions and create a roadmap that includes the supports and strategies they need to achieve their vision.
Providing an informal opportunity for parents of similar-aged children to socialize, share challenges, and exchange tips and strategies.
UCF TRANSITION & ADULTHOOD PROGRAMS The goal of UCF Transition and Adulthood Programs to help individuals with developmental and learning disorders connect with gainful and meaningful employment opportunities as well as social/recreational opportunities in the community. We approach this objective from two angles: by preparing and practicing with our job seekers to help them develop employable skills and by educating and training businesses to successfully employee neurodiverse individuals. These programs are built around enhancing the social determinants of health, including education, economic stability, and social & community context.
Unicorn Village Academy© Scholarships The Unicorn Village Academy© is a unique, specialized middle/high school designed with the necessary, built-in supports for students unable to succeed in a typical school setting. The individualized curriculum focuses on functional academics, daily living skills, selfdetermination, self-advocacy, community integration, and vocational training. 100% of graduates have matriculated into a post-secondary program or employment.
Pre-Employment Internships The pre-employment training program is a unique, business led, one-year school to work program that takes place entirely at the workplace with assistance from a supported employment specialist. To date, 100% of graduates from this model have been offered competitive, integrated employment upon completion of the program.
Unicorn Job Club© The Unicorn Job Club© is a networking and employment strategy group for young adults with disabilities that provides opportunities for participants to develop employment success strategies.
Special Percs Café® & Barista Training Certification Special Percs Café® will be a warm and sensory-friendly environment where guests receive specialty beverages made and served by employees with special needs. A hospitality-industry-standard certification will allow participants to seek employment opportunities in more traditional community-based places of employment.
Uniquely Gifted Boutique® & Art Studio Uniquely Gifted Boutique® and Art Studio is a retail space serving as an anchor social enterprise for the Unicorn Connection Center©. The art studio will provide socialrecreational opportunities that create products for sale in the Uniquely Gifted Boutique®. Participants who enroll in the retail training course will obtain an industry-standard certification that will allow participants to seek employment opportunities in more traditional community-based places of employment.
Lifelong Learning The Unicorn Connection Center will provide high-level support and resources for members of the community with special needs and their families through lifelong learning programs, classes and activities. Examples include: mindfulness, music, fashion design, jewelry making, candle making, soap making, pet care, Spanish and a social connection club.
Creative Workforce Solutions Summit The Creative Workforce Solutions Summit is an annual event that was first launched in December 2020 and gives entrepreneurs and social enterprises the tools needed to start or grow a business owned by or employing young adults with developmental or learning disorders. Topics include: transition planning, benefits management, business planning, business management, and funding, as well as personal shared stories of challenges and successes by several existing entrepreneurial businesses.
Unicorn Career & Entrepreneurial Institute The Unicorn Career & Entrepreneurial Institute will engage collaborative partners to help young adults with developmental or learning disorders plan and launch business ideas. In an effort to address the issues of unemployment & underemployment, self-employment is a creative workforce solution designed to meet the support needs, passions, talents and strengths of each individual. In addition, self-employment solutions can provide supplemental income, allow for a flexible work schedule, support the entrepreneur’s growth and development, and enhance a community network of support. Course topics include: Exploring Self-Employment, Business Concepts, Business Start-up, Business Marketing, Financial Planning, Customer Service, Product Development, Sales, and Technology.
UCF COLLECTIVE IMPACT PROGRAMS The goal of UCF Collective Impact programs is to galvanize the community to work together to create lasting solutions to the large-scale social problems that impact individuals with special needs, their families and the community at large. These programs ensure the coordination of efforts by multiple stakeholders towards a clearly defined goal and built around enhancing the social determinants of health, including economic stability, education, health/healthcare access, neighborhoods/physical environments, and social & community context.
Creating Compassionate Children® UCF provides proprietary character development toolkits to classrooms designed to help students create a culture of understanding, acceptance, inclusion and respect by encouraging meaningful change in preschool and elementary schools.
Special Needs Advisory Coalition of Palm Beach County (SNAC PBC) SNAC is a regular convening of representatives from the public and private sectors who have an interest in special needs services and supports to encourage cooperation, collaboration, and coordination of efforts to create a comprehensive continuum of care.
Unicorn Junior Board The Unicorn Junior Board is designed to cultivate a pipeline of future leaders and encourage diversity.
Unicorn Life Media Unicorn Life Media will profile individuals with neurodiversity designed for and by individuals with neurodiveristy. It is expected to grow from a one hour weekly show to a vast array of content that profiles each person’s unique abilities and provides hope to families.
Impacts Through the generous support of our donors and community partners, UCF is creating meaningful change in the lives of children and families with special needs. Our ongoing work with community convening is creating more accessibility and efficiency in programs and services, and dramatically reducing stress for the people who need them. In addition to improving the overall system of care for people with disabilities, UCF’s programs are fostering life-long individual success. We measure our impact across the cradle to the career path, and track progress of those who participate in our programs.
Our Expectations: ▲
200+ families will be supported at the Unicorn Connection Center© • 50 participants will attend Lifelong Learning Courses • 50+ individuals will participate in arts and social-recreational programming at UCC • 100+ families will access effective & efficient information and referrals 200+ individuals with neurodiversity will participate in UCF Employment Programs • 10 young adults will participate in a pre-employment internship program • 50+ young adults will participate in the Job Club or employment-related workshops • 30 individuals will receive vocational training/certification at social enterprises • 10 young adults will participate in the Unicorn Career & Entrepreneurial University • 100+ attendees will participate in the Creative Workforce Solutions Summit 10 businesses will receive training on successfully engaging neurodiverse employees 50+ families will participate in family navigation programs • 8 families will engage in Early Start Denver Model Parent Training • 50+ self-advocates or families will participate in the Creating Your RoadMap Conference Expand our collective impact and partnerships • Increase membership of SNAC PBC by 20% • Support 1,000 visitors to the virtual hub to provide age-related information and access to resources • Increase number of artisans for Uniquely Gifted Boutique by 25%
To demonstrate relative success of UCF support programs, we expect: ■ Of participants who attend Lifelong Learning Courses, 75% will report improved competency of skills and 75% of will report improvement in their mood, sociability and self-confidence after completion of sessions ■ Of users who visit specialneedspbc.info, 80% will report ease of access to information and referrals ■ Of individuals with neurodiversity who participate in UCF Employment Programs, 80% will report improved competence in employability skills and 75% will obtain and retain competitive employment ■ Of the young adults who participate in the Unicorn Career & Entrepreneurial University, 70% will complete a business plan ■ Of attendees who participate in the Creative Workforce Solutions Summit, 80% will report improved understanding of non-traditional employment options ■ Of businesses who receive training on hiring neurodiverse employees, 50% will hire neurodiverse talent
■ Members of the Special Needs Advisory Coalition will report a 70% satisfaction level with the efforts to promote collaborative action, commitment to build and sustain a diverse membership, collaboration with local communities/coalitions, and help given to local communities to become better able to address and resolve concerns. ■ Users of the virtual hub will report an 80% improvement in accessing relevant information and resources ■ 60% of artisans partnering with Uniquely Gifted Boutique will report increased exposure of their product(s) ■ Of families who participate in Early Start Denver Model Parent Coaching Program, 80% will report improved competence and mastery of strategies to facilitate their child’s development ■ Of self-advocates or families who participate in the Navigate Your Journey Conference, 70% will report higher expectations and 80% will report reduced stress
Funding Impact Statement Unicorn Children's Foundation is grateful to our supporters and sponsors who enable our important work for the neurodiverse community. Your support will ensure that economic circumstances of individuals with developmental or learning disorders, or their families, are not a barrier to personal development and meaningful participation in all aspects of their life journey. These cradle to career path programs help them thrive, prepare for employment, and develop long-term plans for bright futures. Together, we can create a world where all children’s potential, regardless of their challenges, will have an opportunity to flourish.
Follow Unicorn Children’s Foundation and Special Needs Advisory Coalition Website: www.unicornchildrensfoundation.org Virtual Hub: www.specialneedspbc.info Newsletter: https://www.unicornchildrensfoundation.org/mailing.html Facebook (UCF): https://www.facebook.com/unicornchildrensfoundation Facebook (SNAC PBC): https://www.facebook.com/pbcsnac/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ucfoundation Instagram: https://instagram.com/ucfoundation YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheUCFoundation LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/unicornchildrensfoundation
Supporting research into effective intervention approaches and producing educational conferences
Unicorn Children’s Foundation Developmental Clinic and Endowed Chair at Nova Southeastern University
Providing mobile developmental clinics to Universities
Established Unicorn Village Academy with 100% of graduates entering employment or postsecondary programs
Awareness and support of inclusion in elementary schools with our Creating Compassionate Children curriculum
Convening the community to address priorities via Special Needs Advisory Coalition
ESDM Parent coaching scholarships to provide strategies that promote the development of critical early developmental milestones
Expanding cadre of high-quality respite care providers via REST
Creating a preemployment internship program that resulted in 100% of interns being offered employment
A one-stop center providing navigation, enrichment, job training, and employment in an inclusive setting.
For more information, visit www.UnicornChildrensFoundation.org 99 SE Mizner Blvd., Suite 120 • Boca Raton, Florida 33432 • 561.620.9377 REGISTRATION#: CH17062 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.