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Proud to be a leader in the Foster Care Redesign effort. Contact us!
phone: 904.421.5800
fax: 904.421.5802
emergency: 904.421.5828
after hours: 904.265.6804
Programs for youth

Family Support Services offers programs for youth in care to teach leadership, life skills, teamwork, confidence and so much more!

For more information on these programs, please email or call us at (904) 401-3024.


Just Like Me™ A three-week cultural arts and education summer camp established by Family Support Services in 2012 for  youth are given complete creative license to follow their interest and write, sing, dance, paint or make videos that tell their own stories. Just Like Me was designed for youth involved in the foster care system to help them develop their artistic talents and gain skills such as trust, teamwork, problem solving and decision-making.


Passport to Leadership™ A specialized leadership program for teens ages 15-17 years old who meet the behavior and education requirements showcasing the young person exhibits good decision making and leadership qualities. The program focuses on four "destinations" including critical thinking, employment, education, and public speaking. Each of the destinations are completed through a variety of workshops and events leading up to a trip around the world at EPCOT where youth will complete an accredited Disney youth leadership program by a high level Disney leader.


SPLASH™ (Scuba Promotes Life goals And Supports Healthy living) An award winning, innovative life skills program for foster teens ages 14-17 years old created to teach teens how to prepare for life as an adult while becoming certified SCUBA divers. Classroom sessions focusing on personal health, biology, chemistry, and physics are combined with water dives prepare the youth for a trip to Key Largo, FL where they will complete open water dives and learn about budgeting, food preparation, and multiple employment opportunities. Watch the video!


Tour de TRAILS (Teaching, Riding And Interpersonal Life Skills) Hands on life skills training program for youth ages 14-17 years old focused on provide a sense of normalcy through nutrition exercise and overall wellness. Youth will learn about teamwork, interpersonal skills, health and fitness as well as the development of respectable biking skills and safety. Upon program completion the youth will get to keep the bikes they made giving them a sense of accomplishment and ownership as well as a means for transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can be an adoptive parent?

A:Individuals that are willing to support a special child, and able to offer their time, attention and understanding to that child. Adoptive parents may be young or old, single or married, with or without children, and must have completed Florida's FREE standardized course of PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) training. A family's annual income isn't as important as their ability to open their hearts and homes to a special child.

Q: What types of children are in need of adoptive families?

A:Typically children available for adoption range in age from 10-17; are members of sibling groups and have medical or mental health needs.

Q: What type of assistance is offered to the children and their adoptive family?

A:Children and their adoptive families receive support from adoption professionals, which may include referrals for individual therapy, support groups and paid medical.

Q: How long does the entire adoption process take?

A:In most cases, the entire process takes between 8-12 months before a child's placement in your home is finalized.

Q: Is adopting a child expensive?

A:In the State of Florida, all children classified as "special needs" are adoptable by a qualifying family with little or no cost. All major expenses related to the adoption process are paid by the State and the family normally incurs costs only for outings with the child, the purchase of any gifts, etc.

Q: What happens once the adoption is finalized?

A:Once finalized in a Florida Court of Law, the child becomes a permanent member of the adopting family, affording parents all rights and responsibilities that would come with a biological birth child.

Q: Does the adopted child or family receive any benefits?

A:In most cases, the State of Florida offers a monthly subsidy to assist with some of the costs associated with adopting a child with special needs. Most children are eligible for Medicaid Health Insurance and, with minimal qualification, four years of college tuition at a State funded college or university.

For more information on our children waiting to be adopted, please contact: us at 904.421.5839.

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Breakfast Learning Series - Jacksonville

Held the third Wednesday of each month; 9:00AM - 10:30 AM

For information and registration, please contact: or (904) 265-8088.


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