May is Mental Health Awareness month – a time to increase awareness about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being and to honor the resilience of individuals on their mental health journeys. In Florida alone, over 400,000 children and youth suffer with emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues, yet only about half are able to access essential services.1  Sadly, children from underserved communities are 3x more likely to suffer from psychiatric conditions like ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), depression, anxiety, and poor coping skills.2  The repercussions of untreated mental health challenges have a lasting impact on the health and wellness of our children, families, and society.

Children’s Home Society of Florida is a leader in helping children and parents navigate behavioral health challenges with resilience and strength. By improving children’s environments, relationships, and experiences early in life, we can address many costly societal problems —incarceration, homelessness, and the failure to complete high school — creating a world where children and families can realize their full potential.


Because of you, 13,000+ children, teens and adults took steps to brighter futures with CHS’ counseling and other behavioral health services last year.


How Targeted Case Management Transformed an Autism Journey

Judith and her family faced profound challenges in supporting their son, Raymond, who is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Raymond’s behavioral struggles weighed heavily on them. However, their journey took a hopeful turn when they enrolled in Targeted Case Management (TCM) with Children’s Home Society of Florida. Through TCM, dedicated case managers work closely with families to assess needs, create tailored care plans, coordinate services, and advocate for essential resources, empowering parents to navigate crises and ensure their child’s well-being at home and school.

“Trust the process, believe in your child, and have faith in the path you’re on — it does get better.” – Judith

family of 5 smiling together in front of a Christmas tree

Before discovering TCM, accessing crucial services for Raymond felt like an insurmountable task. However, the introduction of Teanna, their case manager, transformed their experience. Teanna’s expertise and dedication not only facilitated access to services but also provided guidance and comfort for the family, leading to significant breakthroughs.

Thanks to Teanna’s assistance, Raymond gained access to specialized support that nurtured his interests, strengths, and social connections. Additionally, after years of effort, Judith successfully secured a proven therapy method for Raymond, empowering him to enhance his skills and manage his behaviors, leading to greater independence.

Read the full story of Judith, Raymond, and the transformative impact of TCM in their lives.

Community Partnership School helps Students Combat Test Anxiety

Roughly 10-40% of all students experience some degree of test anxiety, often resulting in poor academic performance, especially on standardized tests.3  To provide their students with enhanced support, Sabal Palm Elementary,A Community Partnership School, in partnership with FSU Primary health, hosted a “Come Speak with a Specialist” event.

Parents and students came together to prepare for testing season by learning useful strategies for managing testing anxiety and practicing emotional regulation techniques such as box breathing. The event served as a proactive measure to empower parents and students with effective techniques for alleviating testing anxiety and fostering emotional well-being during the upcoming testing season.

group of students sitting at a desk in the library

Get Involved!

Looking for a way to help? We have lots of flexible volunteer opportunities that allow you to directly impact children in your community. Join us for this remote opportunity:

Create a Therapy & Self-Calm Kit

Sometimes our kids need extra tools to help them handle their emotions. These therapy and self-calm boxes promote healthy self-regulation skills and will be given to clients utilizing CHS counseling services. Items are stored in their own special box and brought out by the child when they are feeling angry, stressed, or anxious.

For a full list of items to include in your kit and drop off instructions, visit our VolunteerHub webpage and search for “Therapy & Self-Calm Kit”.

Learn about more ways to get involved. 

two women creating jars at a table


Celebrating National Foster Care Appreciation Month

May is also National Foster Care Appreciation Month, a time to recognize and honor the contributions of families, social workers, advocates and caregivers who come together to help provide children in foster care with safe, loving homes.

Families like Alyssa and Noelani, who have opened their home to over 40 children in need! When asked about her advice to those considering foster care, Alyssa simply says, “Just do it.” She believes that fostering is one of the most rewarding acts a family can undertake.

family standing in front of castle at Magic Kingdom

Read more about Alyssa and Noelani’s journey as foster parents.

Plan for your future like you plan for your vacation

Take a Travel Tour

In about the same amount of time it takes to plan and make reservations for a vacation, you can pack your life into a plan that will give you peace of mind and in return, many benefits.

Include your loved ones and favorite causes in your plans. There are free and easy steps you can take to leave your things to them.

Footprints in the sand

Complete a beneficiary form from your administrator. Your accounts will avoid probate and will automatically go to your loved ones and favorite charities. Click here for more details

Call your IRA, 501(k) and other retirement account administrators to obtain a beneficiary form. Use this form to specify who you want to receive your accounts, such as your loved ones and charities once you no longer need them. Click here for more details.

You can donate your home (or other property) and continue to live in it and use it for the rest of your life. You can also receive an income tax deduction for this gift! Click here for more details.

Create your Legacy of Good, by supporting children and creating stronger, more flourishing communities throughout Florida.

For more planning ideas, call or email Casey Schroder, Director of Donor Relations & Gift Planning, at (321) 558-4034 or

If you have already included Children’s Home Society of Florida in your will or other gift plans, THANK YOU! Please contact us so we can know how you want your gift used to support children and impact their lives, forever.

1 Florida Department of Health, Dec. 2023
2 BC Medical Journal, Oct. 2016\
3 Wood SG, Hart SA, Little CW, Phillips BM. Test anxiety and a high-stakes standardized reading comprehension test: A behavioral genetics perspective. Merrill Palmer Q (Wayne State Univ Press). 2016 Jul;62(3):233-251. doi: 10.13110/merrpalmquar1982.62.3.0233. PMID: 28674461; PMCID: PMC5487000. (