Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards Major Grant to All Star Children’s Foundation

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he $100,000 Leveraged Grant provides valuable funds toward completion of the organization’s clinical care program.

GUlf Coast Community Foundation

(Sarasota, FL) All Star Children’s Foundation will be able to treat many more children in the tri-county area who are suffering from trauma thanks to the $100,000 Leveraged Grant recently issued by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The funds will be directed to support development, implementation and evaluation of therapeutic interventions for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Lucia Branton, All Star’s chief executive officer, explains that the grant will provide the opportunity for All Star to treat more children who have been referred to the organization and qualifies for its trauma-focused services. “Since opening our outpatient services in April 2019, we’ve received more than 150 referrals,” says Branton. “Due to the overwhelming need for trauma services, we have quickly developed a waiting list of children.” She adds that the funds will allow the organization to “hire the additional clinicians to serve children on our waiting list.” All Star’s clinical department currently includes three clinicians trained in evidence-based trauma treatment models, with a fourth starting later this month, and the clinical director.

“After working with our specially trained therapists, children and their caregivers are feeling safe and empowered to open up about their feelings and how to work through them,” says Branton. “It takes a level of trust for this to happen, but it’s a critical component of what All Star is based on—trauma therapy and creating a psychologically safe environment that will foster healing.”

Graci McGillicuddy, the co-founder and board chair of All Star, says that the importance of these interventions cannot be underestimated.

“Adverse childhood experiences are a major public health threat,” she says. “According to latest brain research, untreated early childhood trauma can have a lifetime impact. The good news is that early treatment gives children affected by childhood trauma a chance to grow up into well-adjusted, high-functioning adults. We are very grateful to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation for its ongoing support of All Star’s mission.”

All Star has nearly completed its “Campus of Hope and Healing,” which includes the All Star Children’s Center, where trauma-focused clinical services are offered. The campus also features six foster family homes that provide abused children, ages 0-18, with a nurturing, family-style home environment and comprehensive, trauma-sensitive treatment. Siblings will be kept together, and parents and caregivers will also be offered a range of innovative services. All Star also serves children in the region’s child welfare system and their families on an outpatient basis. Clinicians began seeing clients at the All Star Children’s Center earlier this month.

According to McGillicuddy, All Star has implemented an unprecedented, trauma-informed program that delivers the latest evidence-based protocols and treatments for foster children and their biological families. Partnering with leaders across the child welfare system, the non-profit organization has tapped best-in-class partners to assist in their mission. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH) is providing critical program development consultation, as well as serving as the lead research entity.

All Star is currently seeking six couples to become foster parents in six single-family homes on its new campus. Interested applicants should contact Lindsey May, ASCF’s program director, at 941-217-6503.

For more information about All Star Children’s Foundation, visit www.allstarchildrensfoundation.org. The campus is located at 3300 17th St, Sarasota.