Focus on Flagler Sets Golf Fund-Raiser at Pine Lakes, for New Youth-Resilience Program
FlaglerLive | October 11, 2013
Creating Lasting Family Connections is 25-year-old program first developed by the Louisville, Ky.-based Council on Prevention and Education: Substances, Inc. and since adopted by state and local agencies across the country—including Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice.
It’s a 12 to 20-week program, meeting once a week for two and a half hours, that essentially gives youths 14 to 17 the means to develop resiliency and communication skills to handle innumerable risky situations—from the temptation of drugs and alcohol to conflicts with family and friends to bullying or intimidation.
Focus on Flagler, the non-profit organization, has just landed a $25,000 grant to bring Creating Lasting Family Connections to the county, and offer it to 15 candidates at its headquarters–the People Helping People building at 206 South Chapel Street in Bunnell, which is the annex to the old Memorial hospital.
“We thought it’d be nice to bring it to Flagler,” says Marian Irvin, who chairs the Focus on Flagler board.The grant was provided through the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. But it’s a cost-reimbursement grant. That means Focus on Flagler must first hire its grant staff, put the program in practice, then file for reimbursement. For a small organization, that can create cash-flow issues. That’s why Focus on Flagler is organizing a fund-raiser to help that flow.
It’s the Focus On Flagler Families Golf Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Pine Lakes Golf Club. The four-person scramble will have its shotgun start at 8:30 that morning. The entry fee is $65 per golfer or $250 per foursome. A golf cart, awards and lunch will all be provided as part of the package. The entry deadline is Oct. 25. (See and download the entry form below.)
Focus on Flagler intends to make this an annual event.
“Today, with young people having so many different issues, particularly peer pressure, bullying, not being able to speak with their families,” Irvin said, “it always helps to give them opportunity to have someone else intercede for them or have someone else they can talk to. I’m not saying the schools aren’t doing what they can, but the schools can’t be expected to do everything.”
Focus on Flagler has already hired a case worker, a youth facilitator, a parent facilitator and a program director for the Creating Lasting Family Connections program, but it’s been having a harder time getting the word out to find students to enroll. Students will be referred to the program through the school district, but can also join on their own by calling Focus on Flagler at 386/313-1958. Leave a message if no one answers the phone directly.
“Once people really hear about it, more people will be likely to request the services,” Irvin said.
Students and their parents must make a commitment to be part of the program. For students, it’s 12 weeks. For their parents, it’s five weeks. The program includes family dinners provided by Focus on Flagler.
The original Creating Lasting Family Connections program was created for children 9 to 17 and their parents, guardians, and other family members “to improve their ability to provide a nurturing environment for each other in a very effective and meaningful way,” according to the Council on Prevention and Education. “Participating youth and adults are encouraged to improve their personal growth through increasing self-awareness, expression of feelings, interpersonal communication, and self-disclosure. Participants are taught social skills, refusal skills, and appropriate knowledge and healthy beliefs about alcohol and drugs, which provide a strong defense against environmental risk factors that can lead to negative outcomes for youth.”