Directions for Living prides itself on strengthening families while passionately advocating for the safety and security of our community's children. Within our Child Safety and Family Preservation division, there are four primary programs, each of which are sponsored by Eckerd Community Alternatives:
- Diversion Services - In coordination with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Child Protection Investigation Division, Family Works is Pinellas County's Diversion Services program for families who are at high risk for entering the Child Welfare System. Through this program, Directions for Living provides and coordinates resources for families in need, wraps them in the care they require, and helps avoid unnecessarily removing children from their home in order to preserve families.
- Dependency Case Management - As part of the Child Welfare Community Based Care provider network in Pinellas County, Directions for Living is a provider of Child Welfare Dependency Case Management for children and families who are in need of child abuse and neglect prevention, child protection, or permanency services. Through case management, Directions for Living is dedicated to respecting the integrity of each family member, focusing on the strengths of the family, reunifying when possible, and coordinating the best possible placement outside of the family when necessary.
- Foster Care Management - By recruiting and providing resources to support successful foster parents, Directions for Living builds a strong foundation for the children who enter foster care in our community. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, click here.
- Adoptions - Finding the right Forever Family for a child is an immensely important aspect of Child Safety and Family Preservation. Directions for Living is proud to facilitate approximately 100 adoptions per year in Pinellas County. If you would like more information about adopting, please click here.
- Project H.O.P.E. [Helping Our Parents (and caregivers) Excel] - Working with families throughout the county who are in need of reunification and preservation support within the child dependency system, Project H.O.P.E. services are initiated immediately to expedite the process of children coming home as soon and as safely as possible.
- Parents & Peers - As an additional resource for the Dependency Case Management service provided by Directions for Living, Parents & Peers is an innovative model which prioritizes families who have been in out of home care for more than 6 months. To expedite their safe reunification, Parents & Peers provides intensive and specialized supports, including a team of Peer Mentors who have already successfully navigated the system, wraparound staff support, safe parenting skills training, and care for any outstanding mental health and substance abuse issues.