Youth began leaving home in great numbers, many of them migrating to communes and the streets of our communities, typified by the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco.


Police discovered the bodies of 27 youths buried in shallow graves in the Houston area, many of them runaways from middle class America.


Congress passed the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (Title III), establishing 60 programs to serve runaways nationwide, six of them in Florida (Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Merritt Island, Gainesville, Tampa and Miami).


The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services was incorporated with an office in Tampa.


The Florida Legislature provided state funds for runaway services for the first time (in response to federal budget cuts).


The Florida Network office opened in Tallahassee.


Florida’s Runaway Youth and Family Act was passed and a statewide Runaway Youth Task Force was formed.


Legislative mandate passed for Florida to have 23 full service centers, serving every area of the state, with a full range of services, from prevention to aftercare, to troubled teens and families. Florida Network staff was expanded to collect data on runaways for the state, provide quality assurance controls, train agency staff members, and assist with communications and fundraising.


The Florida Youth & Family Foundation was created; headed by Florida First Lady Mary Jane Martinez. The Florida Runaway Hotline was established.


The Florida Legislature privatized services to CINS/FINS population. Centralized client intake and assessments were removed from the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (DHRS) and were contracted out to the community-based Florida Network agencies.


Funding and oversight of CINS/FINS services moved from the DHRS to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).


Additional shelters are being added bringing the total to 30.


DJJ entered into a single, statewide contract with the Florida Network to provide CINS/FINS services. The Florida Runaway Hotline was eliminated due to budget cuts after the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks in New York.

Florida TaxWatch releases a study finding the Florida Network services save taxpayers millions of dollars each year by successfully diverting children from juvenile justice programs.

Clear Channel produces a video entitled, “Family Emergency”, about the services provided to Children and Families in Need of Services.


The Neighborhood Partnership Project begins across the state, providing counseling to children in locales closer to their home through partnerships with grassroots organizations.


The statewide brochure is produced in three languages, English, Spanish and Creole.


The Florida Network is awarded a federal grant to served children from other countries that are not citizens but are left in the USA without parents.


The Florida Legislature provides funding to raise the starting pay for youth shelter care workers statewide to $10.50 per hour. This begins to provide special services to the soldiers and families of the Florida National Guard.


The Florida Network celebrates 30 years of Leadership.


The Florida Network is nationally recognized by the American Bar Association and the Vera Institute of Justice as an exemplar program in its study paper titled “Model for Change-System Reform in “Juvenile Justice.” The New York Times features the Florida Network in article “Florida Steps in Early to Help Troubled Teenagers.”


The Florida Network is recognized by the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention as a best practice in the deinstitutionalization of status offenders.


The Associated Press does a follow-up article that is printed by newspapers statewide featuring the Florida Network titled “Intercepting Youths on the Path to Trouble.”


The Justice Research Center of Tallahassee completes a cost savings study of the Florida Network – “Findings from the cost effectiveness evaluation suggest that more than $160 million in subsequent DJJ juvenile justice placement expenses were avoided as a result of Florida Network non-residential and residential shelter services. Investing in Florida Network’s services is economically beneficial, with a nearly $5.50 return for every dollar invested in quality prevention programs for you at-risk for delinquency. A dollar invested today is multiplied in future for Florida’s children and Families.”


Probation Respite services to youth on DJJ Probation with adjudication withheld.


The Domestic Violence Respite program was created as a Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI), with the focus on keeping youth who are arrested and charged with a battery on a household member out of secure detection and placed in one of our 28 shelters around the state. Youth are then able to remain in the community, attend school and receive family services through the shelter during their stay; which can be up to 21 days. This allows families to work on the issues that resulted in the arrest and work towards developing a healthy alternative other than physical violence when they become upset. This program serves youth ages 10-17. Since 2013, the Florida Network through the member agencies have been able to keep over 2,344 youth out of secure detention.


The Florida Network brings back the Probation Respite program which was originally started back in 2012. This was developed as an amendment to our Domestic Violence Respite contract to include serving youth ages 10-17 who are on Probation with adjudication withheld. This program provides a respite to youth who are at-risk of violating their probation. Youth can be placed at one of our 28 shelters around the state by their probation officer. This allows them to remain in the community and receive intervention services that would help redirect their behavior and develop better decision making skills.


Implementation of the SNAP program at four CINS/FINS sites located in Tallahassee at CCYS, Gainesville at CDS, Orlando at Orange County Youth and Family Services and Jacksonville at YCC. SNAP, which stands for Stop Now And Plan, is an evidence-based behavioral model from Toronto, Canada that provides a framework for teaching children struggling with behavior issues, and their parents, effective emotional regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills. The primary goal of SNAP is to keep children in school and out of trouble by helping them make better choices “in the moment.” SNAP is a gender-specific program that is currently available for boys ages 6-12 that includes a parent and sibling component to engage the whole family system to strengthen their relationships and improve behaviors at home, in school and the community.