Every year, Guardians for New Futures, a small, grassroots nonprofit organization in St. Lucie County, coordinates and hosts a huge, two-day Child Summit at Indian River State College’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in Fort Pierce. This year’s Summit, slated for Wednesday, Sept. 25, and Thursday, Sept. 26, is free and open to all who are concerned about children.
In order to provide up-to-the-minute, quality, professional education on the issues facing our youth, Guardians for New Futures gathers professional speakers and facilitators. Educated, experienced, and qualified professionals will speak about a number of topics including: The Internet Culture, Internet and Social Media Addiction, Current Trends in Drug Use, How Shame Develops in Children and the Cycle of Shame, and Creating Upward Mobility by Tapping into the Talents of People Themselves.
There will also be presentations on Self-Care – Who Cares for the Caregivers, What it Means to be Trauma-Informed, Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder and Related Disorders of Behavior and Maladaptive Coping Skills, Trafficking and Our Community, Implicit Bias, and the Neurobiology of Addictions and the ABC’s of MAT. As in past years, one of the summit’s highlights will be a panel discussion featuring sheriff’s representatives from Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties.
Recognizing that children who were removed from their homes in the middle of the night due to abuse and neglect cases often had nowhere to rest but in someone’s office, Guardians for New Futures several years ago focused time and energy on fundraising and donations to help build the Sanctuary4Kids, a 24/7 emergency shelter serving children from St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties from birth to age 17. Working with other organizations, including Devereux, DCF, Tykes and Teens, Palm Beach Behavioral Health and Wellness, Place of Hope, and Hibiscus Children’s Center, Guardians for New Futures spearheaded the project from start to completion, and gifted the house to Hibiscus Children’s Center.
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