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Spotlight: Full Service Schools initiative helps students overcome non-academic barriers

November 11, 2015

Full Service Schools of Jacksonville is an initiative that helps Duval County Public School students  overcome non-academic barriers that may prevent them from succeeding in school. The long-standing initiative has enabled United Way of Northeast Florida and its partners to connect nearly 3,500 students and families to a critical range of therapeutic, health and social services that help them navigate through difficult circumstances.
In 2014, Baptist Health made a substantial contribution to the program to get students off the waiting list for counseling services.
 “These funds significantly reduced the wait list at Sandalwood Family Resource Center, Greater Springfield Family Resource Center and the Beaches Family Resource Center,” said Keto Porter, director of Full Service Schools.
As a result of the additional resources, Porter said,  Full Service Schools employed two contracted therapists and a full-time therapist who supported multiple sites. As of July 2014, 84 students received counseling services, and 1,156 counseling sessions were conducted as of August 2015.
Baptist Health continues to focus on helping children get access to mental health services. The company is heavily involved in the redesign of Full Service Schools in the Ribault feeder pattern. This redesigned model provides the community with greater access to counseling services for students by placing full-time therapists in schools. By demonstrating the effectiveness of this new model, Full Service Schools continues toward its goal of serving all students who face non-academic barriers to success.
“I love United Way’s model for being able to positively respond to issues in the community,” said Marianne Hillegass, senior vice president and chief resource officer of Baptist Health. “We have to think beyond what we are doing now and look for ways to impact the future. Enhancing Full Service Schools will do just that.”
You can support Full Service Schools through your contributions to the Community Impact Fund or through our Volunteer and Community Engagement department.
For more information regarding Full Service Schools, contact Keto Porter at ketop@nulluwnefl.org or 904-390-3247. For information on how to volunteer your time and resources, contact Corinne Tippins at corinneh@nulluwnefl.org or 904-330-3962.