Families First of Florida has implemented a Trauma focused program utilizing evidence-based practices and screening and assessing our children and families as they progress through treatment.

We believe that children belong in families.


Our Model

Each child is supported by a dedicated treatment team, which coordinates treatment and helps ensure that all needs are met while the child is in the Mentor home. Through a Comprehensive Clinical Assessment, and using an outcomes-based measurement tool, the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Trauma Assessment, the team identifies the child’s strengths and works with them to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Services are determined based on the child’s unique needs and may include: • Individual, group and family therapy • Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Life Books, where children keep important memories • Individualized skill-building activities • 24/7/365 crisis support

Strengthening The Relationships

Relationship building is key to a child’s healthy development, healing and growth, and it is a key part of the program. Our clinical staff partners with the whole family to develop supportive, nurturing relationships that can help the child heal while building skills needed to help the family move forward together.

Core Treatment Methods

The program utilizes a family-centered, trauma-informed clinical model, using two core treatment methods to help heal and choose a positive new direction for their lives.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps families understand the need to make positive changes in their lives and helps them plan the steps needed to move forward. During CBT, a child and family will learn to:

  • Set positive, realistic goals for their lives.
  • Solve problems, such as learning how to communicate their needs.
  • Manage stress and anxiety.
  • Identify situations that cause anxiety or serve as triggers for problems in the home and learn to deal with them in a positive way.
  • Be more involved in social and recreation activities they enjoy.

Motivational Interviewing

Using Motivational Interviewing (MI) principles and interventions, we assess the entire family’s readiness to make positive changes in their lives and support them in taking steps to move forward in a positive direction. Depending on each child’s behavioral health needs and treatment goals, other interventions may be used with CBT and MI, including:

  • Trauma-focused therapy – Children who have experienced trauma have therapy sessions with a therapist who is specially trained in trauma issues. Learn more about our services for children with trauma.
  • Family Systems thinking – The child and family learn how they work together as a family, how changes in life can cause changes in the family, and how they can deal with these changes in a positive way.
  • Intensive case management – In cases where a child needs to be placed in foster care, we help the child make a smooth transition with all needed community supports in place, such as being enrolled in school, medical care and participating in community activities.
  • Skills training – The family works with their treatment team to build skills such as communication, problem solving and stress management that can help them strengthen their relationships and handle crisis in a positive way.
  • Behavior modification – The family learns to change negative behaviors that are keeping them from moving forward together.
mother helping her daughter read
Parenting Services