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Florida's Circuit 12 Recognized with National Award by CarePortal

Pictured: L-R -Kathy Cornwell (church responder), Michelle Allen (church responder and Bridge A Life board member), Courtney Ross, (CarePortal), Denise Grimes and SCC team members Sierra Ebersole and Sarah Hawk. Photo provided by Bridge A Life.

Florida's Circuit 12 (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties) was recently recognized with the “2023 Community of the Year Award” for its successful implementation of the CarePortal platform–an online tool that connects churches with the needs of vulnerable children and families through local child welfare agencies. In Circuit 12, one of those agencies is the lead community based care organization, Safe Children Coalition (SCC) whose case managers help with careful vetting and online entry of needs.

Local nonprofit Bridge a Life uses the CarePortal platform to connect caring church members with urgent social service needs in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. Denise Grimes, the CarePortal Regional Manager for Bridge a Life shares that typical requests addressed through CarePortal are for beds, furniture, formula, diapers, clothes and food. Through the CarePortal technology, agency workers find a family in need and put in a request for help from churches that are within a certain proximity to that family. “Our churches will get the request and try to meet the needs of that family by helping them build community and by serving them in many different ways–ways that are unique to every family,” explains Grimes. According to the CarePortal website, more than half of the requests entered into CarePortal receive a response in fewer than 48 hours.

Just before the holidays last year, a request came in from a family in need. “It was a simple request,” recalls Grimes. “At first they just needed a couple beds. Once the church was able to go into the home, they realized the family needed a lot more than just beds so they decided to really wrap around this family and provide Christmas presents. They then helped them prepare for the holidays with meals and other things that they needed. After the holidays, they've continued to meet with the family, helping them with bunk beds for the many children in the home. A few months later, they came back to paint the entire home and help the family truly have a fresh new start.”

The pilot program began in our region thanks to a former SCC vice president, Kathleen Cowan, who started the conversation about bringing CarePortal to our community. In July of 2021, CarePortal was activated within SCC’s Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) – this team provides and coordinates services for families who are at high risk for entering the child welfare system. The goal of the ERAT team is to ensure children's safety and well-being within the home, to help avoid the unnecessary removal of children. The goal of all the partners involved is to keep kids in their homes; by filling urgent needs, CarePortal helps to do just that.

To learn about ways to help families in need, Grimes suggests visiting the Bridge A Life and/or CarePortal websites. For more about SCC, visit sccfl.org.


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This Week's SRQ DAILY Editions



Wednesday Philanthropy Edition – May 29, 2024

Chiles Hospitality Awards Nine Employees with Student Scholarships Through Manatee Community Foundation •  Disaster Relief Capacity Boosted, Celebrated During Ribbon-Cutting •  Embracing Our Differences Appoints Jeff Spalter to its Board of Directors •  Resilient Retreat Graced by $4,500 Grant •  Florida's Circuit 12 Recognized with National Award by CarePortal

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition – May 28, 2024

Baking Bliss •  Free Summer Meals for Manatee County Kids and Teens •  Lineup Announced for 14th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival  •  Anna Maria Oyster Bar: A Seafood Evolution •  This Wednesday at the Bazaar •  CreArte Latino Cultural Center Presents VOCES de la Maternidad

Monday Business Edition – May 27, 2024

Michael Saunders and Company Celebrates 48 Years •  A Cultivation of Culture at Brooklyn Boutique •  Inventory Spikes as Realtors Predict Pricing Competition

Saturday Perspectives Edition – May 25, 2024

Steube Forces a Vote in Historic Fashion •  The Need for Mental Health Awareness in Higher Education

Friday Weekend Edition – May 24, 2024

2024 Women Who Roar Applications Last Day •  Meet the Statue Man of Sarasota •  Black Violin Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Tour This Fall •  The Sarasota Players Announce 95th Season •  A Beagle and The Bishop Go To The Moon •  The World Premiere of Oak at Urbanite Theatre

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition – May 23, 2024

Education Leader Jennifer Jenkins Launches a National Counter-Offensive to Far-Right’s Attack on Public Education •  Free Kids Summer Beach Runs Return to Sarasota County Beaches June 4 •  Not Your Typical Trivia Night at Hamlet's •  District Leaders Get the Summer Rolling with School Bus Send-Off This Friday •  Sarasota Rising Invites Area Artists to Participate in its 2nd Annual Living Arts Festival Poster Contest •  Baseball Reigns Supreme on the Gulf Coast •  District Announces New Principal of Venice Elementary

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition – May 22, 2024

2024 Women Who Roar Applications Open •  Our Youngest Citizens •  New Website Announced for Children First •  The Child Protection Center Awarded Funds For A New Elevator •  First 1,000 Days Suncoast Reduces Stress and Positively Impact Mental Health •  All Star Children's Foundation Welcomes Janeen Meifert as CFO •  Safe Children Coalition's Youth Shelter Campaign Boosted by Donation and Challenge Match from Sudakoff Foundation •  Fire Chairty Fishing Tournament •  Sarasota Orchestra to Receive Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts  •  Look for the Silver Rainbow in Sarasota on June 8

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