Realizing the difficulties many families had to cope with in their daily life, a small group of social workers and psychologists who lived in Carol City and Opa Locka decided to organize and incorporate The Center for Family and Child Enrichment (CFCE) as a private, non-profit in 1977.
Its initial mission was to help low-income individuals become self-sustaining, and teach them how to navigate through and resolve conflicts with mental health and child welfare bureaucracies. At that time, CFCE received a small grant from the Dade/Miami Mental Health board to provide mental health counseling to children and families in the Northwest area.
Three years later, in 1980, CFCE was awarded a grant by the State of Florida, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, to implement an Intensive Crisis Counseling Program (ICCP -- one of only two such programs in the State at that time. This family preservation and support program increased the Agency’s engagement with the large, at risk population in the local area.
Since families and children under court supervision have diverse mental health needs, yet often do not have the resources to pay for necessary services, CFCE became a Medicaid provider in 1992 to offer those needed services. In 1995, CFCE was licensed as a child-placing agency, and opened its first group home for adolescent males.
During the next few years, CFCE saw a rapid growth in both services and infrastructure, adding foster care case management and Children In Need or Services/Families In Need of Services (CINS/FINS) to its portfolio. In 2005, CFCE became a full case management provider with Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, contracted to provide full case management to 755 children. Additionally, the Center accepted a contract with the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services to operate a 15- bed shelter for unaccompanied minors under the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, Division of Unaccompanied Children.
In 2014, CFCE became a Federally Qualified Health Care Center, serving both adults and children. Our services include family, pediatric, dental, OB/GYN, nutrition, screenings, and labatory.
Today, CFCE is recognized in the child welfare and children’s mental health arenas for its innovative programs and intervention models. The agency has grown from a small grass roots “store front” operation to an organization with numerous locations and more than 237 employees, touching the lives of 6,500 children and families each year.
The Center for Family and Child Enrichment could not accomplish its work of protecting and nurturing children and strengthening families without federal and state funding. However, not all services provided to children under our care are funded by the State or other government entities – and those funds continue to shrink with budget cuts.
Therefore, we must rely on philanthropic support for many of our programs. Your support and the support of so many others allows us to offer the special aid and encouragement to our children and families that enhances their lives…and builds a stronger community for us all.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.