Children First Remains Steadfast in Meeting the Need of Children and Parents

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY MAY 16, 2020

Even with demand for services increasing, health and human service organizations on the Suncoast are not backing away from a challenge.

Children First staff and volunteers are working on the front lines to serve families during the economic downturn as many of the 900 children and families the organization serves seek wrap-around services.

Throughout the year, the agency provides infant and toddler care, early childhood education, and parenting classes through its Families First Institute. However, more than 70% of their clients are now turning to the organization for additional necessities such as food, financial assistance, and supplies like diapers, wipes, and infant formula.

“During an unexpected crisis, our families are the first to hurt and the last to recover,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “We’re steadfast in continuing to serve our children and their parents when they need us the most, thanks to the support of our community partners.”

A $125,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has fortified Children First to maintain its ability to provide immediate relief to its clients and retain staff and volunteers. Funds will also be used to pay program staff to assist families as they file for unemployment and apply for other assistance.

“Our support safeguards the integrity that makes Children First such a valuable community resource,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation.

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