Last week, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion with state and community leaders highlighting “Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity,” and the work community partners and faith-based organizations are doing to support vulnerable families in Florida.
At the event, the First Lady awarded five organizations with the First Lady’s Medal for Courage, Commitment and Service.
“By working together with the faith-based community, state partners and private businesses we can accomplish so much more to improve the lives of Floridians,” said First Lady DeSantis. “Through Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity we have been able to transform how state government collaborates with communities to serve children and families in need, and with CarePortal we have a resource to connect faith and community organizations directly with families. I want to thank all of those involved, as this work would not be possible without the community’s commitment to ensuring that needs are met, barriers are overcome, and that we continue to foster a collaborative environment.”
“We have seen firsthand how the Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity initiative has brought together partners across our state who have answered the call to respond with urgency to vulnerable families’ needs,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) Sec. Shevaun Harris. “Under the leadership of the Governor and First Lady DeSantis, we have worked to ensure that we are making a meaningful impact on the families we serve by taking a holistic approach with each interaction. We look forward to continuing to grow our relationships with the faith-based community so we can continue to solve critical needs.”
Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity was spearheaded by First Lady DeSantis and implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), utilizing ‘Care Navigators’ to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, nonprofits and government entities to break down traditional community silos, to maximize resources and uncover opportunities.
Since the September launch of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity:
More than 6,000 customers have been referred to the Hope Florida program.
Since the launch 7,684 individual referrals have been made to partner agencies, the number is higher than total customers due to some individuals having multiple barriers.
CarePortal is a platform launched in March 2015 by the Global Orphan Project, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. CarePortal brings faith and government entities together by utilizing a volunteer network and innovative technology to bring the needs of children and families in crisis to the attention of local churches. Child welfare workers uncover the needs. CarePortal makes local churches aware, giving them a real-time opportunity to respond.
CarePortal launched in Florida in mid-2020 and has been able to help a network of over 200 churches to serve more than 2,500 children by responding to agency request that have been submitted through the CarePortal online platform.