Healthy Families

JFCS serves families and children with a proven, 360-degree method, to provide complete, comprehensive support when needed. Our wrap-around case management helps families become self-sufficient through education, skill-building and empowerment.

JFCS, through a variety of programs tailored to your specific needs, will empower you to live a meaningful life.

JFCS provides skill building services to promote healthy relationships and healthy parenting/co-parenting, while empowering participants towards economic and emotional stability.

Assistance includes:

  • life skills
  • emotional and financial stability
  • self-sufficiency
  • parenting

Read more about the Family initiative programs below.


Employment & Financial Stability Program

Nearly 40% of households in Sarasota County earn too much to qualify for traditional assistance programs but not enough to comfortably pay the bills, save money and build financial sustainability. Simply put, these ALICE households (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) are stuck in Survival Mode.

JFCS’s new Employment & Financial Stability Program aims to help these families get unstuck.

To qualify for the program, the following criteria must be met:
1. Sarasota County residency;
2. At least ONE school-aged child in the home; and,
3. Earnings at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For a household with 4 members, this would be $61,200.

For questions, referrals or to apply for program please call, Christopher Canaday  Employment & Financial Stability Case Manager 941-366-2224 x138 or email at


JFCS counseling and social services is available for all ages, including young children and adolescents. Counseling can help youth build inner confidence. It also teaches children how to use their skills and strengths to get through and overcome challenging situations.

  • Coping with divorce or remarriage
  • Exposure to substance abusers
  • Low confidence/self-esteem
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Discipline or frustration in school
  • Peer pressure
  • Managing emotions
  • Truancy or other delinquent behavior

Adolescent Diversion and Assistance Program

Preventing and reducing involvement of youth, ages 11-17, with the juvenile justice system. Each group offered will emphasize learning new skills and behaviors that will reduce the risk of repetitive destructive behaviors. Affordable individual and family counseling is available for adolescents and families needing support.

  • Domestic Violence
  • Gang-Related Activity
  • Shoplifting/Stealing
  • Battery/Assault
  • Substance Abuse
  • Criminal Mischief/Trespass
  • Generalized Violent Behaviors (Including Bullying)

Referrals are accepted from Juvenile Probation Officers (JPOs), School Resource Officers (SROs) and Bay Area Youth Services (BAYS)/ Juvenile Delinquency Alternative Program (JDAP).

For more information, please contact Ryan McClash at 941-549-5875 or

Comprehensive Psychological Evaluations

Our Assessment Center staff conducts evaluations in a confidential and child-friendly environment for at-risk children, adolescents and young adults experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Upon completion of the evaluation, JFCS will provide a feedback session along with a comprehensive written report with individualized recommendations. Our staff will collaborate with your child’s physician, therapist, and/or school educational team with recommendations for targeted tutoring, therapy, and/or referrals to other services. We can also assist in requests for revisions to Individual Education Plans (IEPs), 504 Plans, and other special education services and requests for reasonable accommodations as mandated by IDEA. Many insurance plans are accepted and a sliding scale fee is available for self-pay clients.

  • Learning Disorders
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Delay Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Dysregulation Disorder
  • Disruptive Mood
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attention
  • Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Depression
  • Personality Traits
  • Substance-Related & Addiction Disorders

For additional information or to schedule an appointment call 941-366-2224.

Summer Enrichment Programs

Middle school youth (ages 11-14) can participate in JFCS Summer Enrichment Programs, which include life skill building sessions, career education and cultural awareness opportunities.

School Based Programs

School Based Programs / Safe Alternative to Out-of-School Suspension Program (SATOSS) provides services to at-risk youth at Emma E. Booker, Heron Creek, Booker and McIntosh Middle Schools and Booker High School in Sarasota County.

Before seeking help, my life was in chaos; my kids were taken from me… Through the Healthy Fathers program, I learned it’s ok to ask for help, and JFCS gave me the support I needed


In the short time that I have attended Healthy Fathers, I have learned more about fatherhood and being a parent than what I have in my entire life.

Changing Lives Forever

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You Can Help JFCS

Help us empower individuals, strengthen families, and guide members of our community toward self-sufficiency.

JFCS Can Help You

We can provide immediate solutions for your unique situation through one of our many services or programs.