Stabilizing Families & Parent Education

Programs currently funded by Manatee County Children's Services to help stabilize families and educate parents.


Child Advocacy Center

Program provides an array of child abuse treatment and prevention services, such as relative/kinship caregiver support, educational safety instruction for children, parenting education and support, educational parenting prevention for teens and their parents, forensic interviews and medical examinations for victims of child abuse, and clinical treatment services for children who have been victims of sexual, physical or mental abuse.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Children ages birth through 17 years who are victims of abuse or at-risk of abuse; and parents/caregivers

Phone: (941) 345-1200

Provider: Manatee Children’s Services, Inc.

Location: 1227 9th Avenue West, Bradenton, FL

Hours: Varies based on client need


Child Welfare System Advocate

The System Advocate assists the Family Safety Alliance in the oversight of the Community Based Care Provider of child welfare services for Desoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. The Advocate receives, evaluates, and attempts to resolve concerns and complaints from persons affected by the quality of services being provided to children who are under the protection of the Community Based Care (CBC) provider.

The Advocate communicates with foster parents and relative caregivers and keeps watch over children’s placement changes, licensing, and other concerns, as well as reviews the performance of the CBC provider in its relationships with subcontractors for services.

Further, the Advocate makes recommendations to the Family Safety Alliance in regard to systemic changes that would improve the quality of child welfare services being provided to the children and families involved in the local dependency system.


  • Interest or involvement in child welfare issues in Manatee County (also Sarasota and DeSoto counties)

Phone: (941) 861-2594

Provider: Sarasota County Health Department

Location: 2200 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34237

Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Website: N/A

In-Home Child Welfare Preservation and Diversion Program

Program provides immediate services to families at risk of maltreatment and prevent removal of the child(ren) from their homes through decreasing risk factors and increasing protective factors. If more in-depth services are determined to be necessary for risk mitigation, diversion program counselors, case manager, and resource specialist will provide on-going support and services to the families.


  • Family with children ages birth through 17
  • Reside in Manatee County
  • Under a child protection investigation due to a recent allegation of child mistreatment

Phone: (941) 721-7670

Provider: Safe Children Coalition

Location: , 8470 Enterprise Circle, Suite 101, Lakewood Ranch; Manatee Children’s Services, 1227 9th Ave. W, Bradenton

Hours: Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (on call outside of office hours, as needed)


Chosen Families (Adoption Preservation)

Program provides adoption preservation and support services through a multi-agency, integrated service delivery system in conjunction with partnering organizations (Family Network on Disabilities and Family Resources). Adoptive families are screened for the type of services needed and the level of urgency for accessing services.

Types of services available:

  • Case management - includes intake and assessment, connection to appropriate services, advocacy, and monitoring of progress.
  • Clinical treatment - includes evaluation of family's therapeutic needs, a treatment plan, therapeutic and behavioral interventions to address adoption-related issues; crisis intervention to address immediate needs when necessary.
  • Parenting education - includes in-home parenting education and coaching for families with children under age 13; and educational workshops with specialized topics for adoptive families.
  • Educational group series - Charting the Course: 8-week Parallel Series model is provided by adoption professionals to an adoptive parent group operated concurrently with a teen's group and/or a children's group. Child care is provided during the series on an as-needed basis.
  • Respite - includes in-home respite care for adoptive children to relieve the stress of parenting (maximum of 12 hours per month).
  • Education-related advocacy - Based on the needs of the family, may include: one-on-one mentoring and instruction in the IEP/504 plan for parents of an adopted child with special needs (limit 3 hours); intensive 6 session series of mentoring and instruction for parents of an adopted special needs child; or general advocacy for education-related issues


  • Manatee County resident
  • Adopted child (age birth through age 17) and the adoptive parent(s)

Phone: (941) 756-3007

Provider: Parenting Matters, formerly Family Partnership Center

Location: 602 3rd Street East, Bradenton, FL and other locations within Manatee County

Hours: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Some services are available on evenings and weekends


Early Childhood Court (Foster Children)

Program provides services to families with children under age 5 whose children have been removed from their homes due to allegations of abuse or neglect.

The specialized team, trained in Early Childhood Court and Infant Mental Health includes a case manager, therapist and an advocate provides intensive wraparound services that promote bonding and attachment. The Early Childhood Court model has been highly effective in reaching faster permanency for the child, improving child well-being and reducing return to care after permanency is achieved.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Ages birth through 5 years
  • In the custody of the State of Florida and legal jurisdiction of Manatee County Dependency Court

Phone: (941) 371-8820  

Provider: The Florida Center for Early Childhood

Locations: The Florida Center for Early Childhood, 4620 17th St, Sarasota; Safe Children Coalition, Manatee Ave W., Bradenton; various locations in the community as scheduled

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Family Preservation & Reunification (Foster Children)

Program provides intensive, comprehensive, individualized parenting and mentoring services to reunify children in foster care with their families in less than twelve months.

The program is designed to be an intensive in-home family preservation service that responds to the needs of the family allowing children to leave foster care and return to their parent’s home with an in-home safety plan.

Wraparound services are engaging, family-centered, strength-based and solution-focused which aim to restore families in crisis to a healthy level of functioning.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Parents whose children ages birth through 17 are in the custody of the State of Florida and legal jurisdiction of Manatee County Juvenile Dependency Court.
  • Family must meet criteria for Conditions to Return under the child welfare system and agree to participate with the in-home safety plan

Phone: (941) 721-7670

Provider: Safe Children Coalition

Location: Safe Children Coalition, 5729 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton

Manatee Children’s Services, 1227 9th Ave. W, Bradenton

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Whole Child Manatee

Whole Child Manatee works with families to provide: assessment, connection, education and support through shared community partnerships. Parents can complete a profile or contact a Whole Child Advisor. Whole Child Advisors are also available to assist families at Harllee Middle School, Tillman Full Service Center and Manatee Community Action Agency offices.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Parent of children ages 0-17 years

Phone: (941) 749-3030 ext. 3059

Provider: Step Up Suncoast, Inc. 

Location: 321 15th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205

Hours: Mon-Fri and other days as necessary



Parent Education Programs

Healthy Families Manatee

Program provides home visiting parenting and support services to parents and families of children that live in the following zip codes: 34221, 34203, 34205, 34208 and other zip codes as funding is available. To be eligible for the program, families must enroll with Healthy Families Manatee before the child is three month of age.


  • Manatee County parents and families of children prenatal through age five
  • Must be enrolled before child is three months of age

Phone: (941) 827-0188

Provider: Step Up Suncoast, Inc. 

Location: Parent's homes

Hours: Mon-Fri and other days as necessary


Parent Mentoring and Support Program

Program provides education, information, resources, mentoring, and support services to parents, guardians, or foster parents of children who have an identified disability to navigate the Exceptional Student Education System in Manatee County School District.

Program is a 12-week course that includes instruction on the basics of Special Education, problem solving, resources, education on IEP's, planning for the future, communication, and how to build a support network.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Ages 5-17 with an identified disability, and their families

Phone: (941) 928-0682

Provider: Family Network on Disabilities

Location: Various locations in the community as scheduled


  • Daytime sessions: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Mon-Sat, as scheduled
  • Evening sessions: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Mon-Sat, as scheduled


Parents as Teachers

Certified Parent Educators provide parenting and support services to expectant parents and parents of children birth through age four. Activities build on existing parenting strengths, minimized potentially harmful behavior, and focus on parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting, and family well-being.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Expectant parents or parents of children from birth through four years of age

Phone: (941) 827-0188

Provider: Step Up Suncoast, Inc. 

Location: Parent's homes

Hours: Services take place in family's home


Partners in Education & Support

Program provides community-wide parenting education and support to any resident engaged in parenting children birth to 12 years. Parent Educators provide the following education and support services:

Individual weekly parenting instruction and coaching in the home setting using Exchange Club Parent Aid model. Sessions include age-appropriate information, customized to address specific issues to parenting their children.

Group parenting sessions are tailored to targeted audience:

  • Musical Motion, a parent/preschool child interactive group, uses creative activities designed to build preschooler's social skills, enhance brain development and early learning skills, teach parents health, safety and child development.
  • Single session or series workshops focus on one or more parenting topics, such as positive discipline, bullying, stress management, teens, co-parenting, etc.
  • Support and Education, a court-approved, intensive 7-12 week series for parents involved in (or at risk for) Dependency Court using an evidence based curriculum focused on child abuse prevention.
  • Parents in Recovery, a weekly group for parents involved in Drug Court, with instruction in effective parenting methods. Parents discuss the results of using skills learned to support each other.


  • Manatee County resident
  • Parent/guardian of children ages 0-17 years

Phone: (941) 756-3007

Provider: Parenting Matters, formerly Family Partnership Center

Location: Various locations in the community and in family's home

Hours: Please phone for times and location