Sierra O’Neal Field Supervisor of Pasco Kids First receive an award

Sierra O’Neal, Field Supervisor, receiving the 2014 Supervisor of the Year Award

Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando Field Supervisor, Sierra O’Neal, was recognized at the statewide Healthy Families Leadership Meeting in Orlando as 2014 Supervisor of the Year. The award was based on the quality of supervision records, team performance, personal philosophy and commitment to the program. Sierra has been with the local program since the inception in March 1999. Her team had tremendous outcomes in 2013-14 with completing 2,226 home visits serving at-risk families with a 90.6% completion rate. “Sierra enjoys the challenge of working with the team and the families and has the program’s strategic vision in mind with all of the decisions she makes. She serves as a role model in her community and her team and we are very lucky to have her as an advocate for our children and families,” stated Becky Bennett, Director of Development. The Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando Program was also recognized with and an award for Outstanding Staff Retention.

In addition, the Healthy Families Florida (HFF) sites celebrated their third National Accreditation as a statewide system providing high-quality child abuse prevention home visiting services in 15 years. Congressman Daniel Webster was in attendance to offer his congratulations and to present each project with a framed accreditation certificate. HFF was recognized as a provider of evidence-based home visiting services that are proven to prevent child abuse and neglect in Florida’s highest-risk families. “This accreditation paints quite a stellar picture of Healthy Families Florida. In fact, it doesn’t get much better — all sites and the central office met the threshold for accreditation without having to submit a response to the Accreditation Panel. That is a first for any state system,” said Kathleen Strader, Director of Healthy Families America Quality Assurance and Accreditation. This accreditation confirms that all programs within the Healthy Families Florida system are providing high-quality services according to the best practice standards established by the national model.

“We are proud of our 32 Lead Agencies and the collaborative relationships they have built within their communities to ensure at-risk families participating in Healthy Families receive all the supports they need to provide nurturing experiences for their children and build a stable foundation for long-term family self-sufficiency. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of countless individuals, Healthy Families Florida is a successful child abuse prevention program that is making a positive difference in the lives of thousands and thousands of Florida’s most vulnerable families each and every day,” said Healthy Families Florida Executive Director Carol McNally.

“I commend the Healthy Families Florida team for the work they do within the community to promote positive parent-child relationships and provide critical services to families in need.” Department of Children and Families Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said. “Healthy Families Florida makes a measurable difference in preventing child abuse and neglect and allows more children the opportunity to flourish in a stable and nurturing home environment.”

“Services like Healthy Families America are proven to build stable and nurturing families, and give children and parents the support they deserve. Healthy Families Florida is not only continuing this tradition of excellence but is building upon it, and we are proud of each and every site within the HFF system,” said Jim Hmurovich, President of Prevent Child Abuse America, home to Healthy Families America.

Healthy Families Florida was one of the first HFA programs to achieve multi-site accreditation, initially completing the process in 2003. This rigorous process must be completed every five years to ensure all program sites and the central office consistently adhere to the standards and fidelity to the HFA model.

In Fiscal year 2012-2103, 49,289 Florida children were abused or neglected, over 21, 000 of these children were under the age of five. Healthy Families Florida is a proven solution, preventing child abuse and neglect in 98% of children in the at-risk families