How Whole Child Works
Whole Child communities are designated as such by The Lawton Chiles Foundation based on a community-wide commitment to shared philosophies to serve young children and their families. Leon County is one of 7 counties already partnering with The Lawton Chiles Foundation. Other communities include Manatee, Martin, Indian River, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, and Gadsden. Several more Florida counties are in the process of adopting the Whole Child philosophy.
A Whole Child Community uses web-based technology; a commitment from all segments of the community; and community leaders united as Action Teams to build and maintain a community where everyone works together to make sure children thrive.
The primary focus of Whole Child Leon is 0-5, but the philosophy addresses needs of children and youth of all ages and their families.
Whole Child uses web-based technology called the "Whole Child Connection" to:
- Assist families in identifying the needs of their young children.
- Connect families with appropriate service providers,
- Encourage and enable service providers to build collaborative networks, and
- Enable communities to identify gaps in service and assess their progress in ensuring that all children thrive.
Whole Child communities believe that all segments of the community need to work together to make sure children thrive. Each segment has unique opportunities for contribution.
- Civic Groups
- Faith-based organizations
Community leaders united as "Action Teams" to focus on programs, activities, and support services families need to nurture the "Six Dimensions of a Whole Child."
- Physical and Mental Health
- Quality Early Education and Development
- Social-Emotional Development
- Spiritual Foundation and Strength
- Safe and Nurturing Environment
- Economic Stability
The Lawton Chiles Foundation provides leadership and guidance to Whole Child Leon to assist us in reaching our goals for young children, including:
- organizational meetings to foster discussion among the greater statewide community
- linkages with technology partners and to statewide organizations such as the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, Children’s Services Councils, the Florida Association of Early Learning Coalitions and the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions.
- support for a full-service web community with individual websites, database and communication functionalities.
- seeking partners to help host a series of statewide meetings and summits to share best practices between and among Whole Child Communities and with other statewide efforts.
The United Way of the Big Bend provides funding and support to Whole Child Leon as one of its strategic initiatives, focusing on long-term results and prevention.
Whole Child/KidCare Outreach Specialist - Through a partnership with Leon County Schools, a Whole Child Leon Outreach Specialist identifies uninsured children in Leon County Schools and reaches out to each family to assist them in the application process of Medicaid/KidCare. A Whole Child/KidCare Outreach Specialist is available to assist parents with applications and can be reached at 850.414.5110.