HOW WE HELP
At Directions for Living, we are proud to provide the highest quality of services for clients in need throughout our community, from case management for children in foster care to therapy for those with a history of trauma. All of these services are inter-connected along a continuum of care, and designed so that no matter how you first access Directions for Living’s services, you will have a variety of additional resources available to you as needed. These integrated services are ever-evolving as we respond to new trends in client needs and as we incorporate the newest evidence based practices. We divide our services into four main categories: Child Safety and Family Preservation, Children’s Behavioral Health, Adult Behavioral Health, and Prevention/Wellness/Recovery services. Learn more below:
CHILD SAFETY AND FAMILY PRESERVATION
Our Child Safety and Family Preservation services are for families who have entered, or are at-risk of entering, the child welfare system. We help keep families from entering the system by providing intensive in-home services, and we also provide case management and adoption services to help kids reach permanency through reunification or finding their own forever family.
These services include:
In coordination with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Child Protection Investigation Division, Family Works is Pinellas County’s Diversion Services program for families who are at high risk for entering the child welfare system. Through this program, Directions for Living provides and coordinates resources for families in need, wraps them in the care they require – from housing to therapy to parenting skills, and helps avoid unnecessarily removing children from their home in order to preserve families.
DEPENDENCY CASE MANAGEMENT
Children who are removed from their homes are paired with a Directions for Living case manager to work towards permanency for that child. Through case management, Directions for Living is dedicated to respecting the integrity of each family member, focusing on the strengths of the family, reunifying when possible, and coordinating the best possible placement outside of the family when necessary.
Finding the right Forever Family for a child is an immensely important aspect of Child Safety and Family Preservation. Directions for Living is proud to facilitate approximately 100 adoptions per year in Pinellas County.
EARLY CHILDHOOD COURT
Early Childhood Court is a collaboration of several community partners focused exclusively on the goal of safe, rapid reunification for Pinellas County families with children 0-3 years old. Throughout the process, a team of individuals work closely with families in the child welfare system, in order to enhance the parent-child relationship during the difficult time of separation, and to focus on the completion of their case plan services to ensure permanency is achieved as soon as safely possible.
PROJECT H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Parents Excel)
Working with families throughout the county who are in need of reunification and preservation support within the child dependency system, Project H.O.P.E. services are initiated to expedite the process of children coming home as soon and as safely as possible.
FAMILY INTENSIVE TREATMENT (FIT) TEAM
FIT provides intensive in-home services to parents who are living with a substance use disorder and who are involved with the child welfare system. By providing wrap-around services, FIT assists in reducing the impact parental substance use has on the family, community, and child welfare system. The FIT Team includes a Counselor to address therapeutic needs, a Case Manager to improve parents’ ability to access community resources, and a Peer Recovery Specialist to provide lived-experience mentoring.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONSULTATION
Our Behavioral Health Consultant is a subject matter expert on mental health who is co-located with child protective investigators and child welfare staff in Highlands and Hardee counties and assists these teams in assessing behavioral health needs for individuals involved in the child welfare system.
CHILDREN'S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Our Children’s Behavioral Health services are designed for children who have experienced trauma, including loss and grief, depression, anxiety, abuse histories and addictions. These services can be provided at our Largo Center, or even in the child’s home, which often allows them to feel most comfortable.
These services include:
Therapy for our littlest clients can be individual or with the whole family, and assists in managing mild to moderate behavioral or emotional needs which can stem from trauma, including school behavior difficulties, adoption related issues, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, abuse histories, and addictions. We teach kids problem solving skills, behavior strategies, and anger management skills, among other therapeutic tools.
Children’s Psychiatry evaluates and treats children with acute, mild to severe, and / or chronic emotional or mental illness through medication therapy and monitoring, including the treatment of commonly diagnosed childhood disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
ADULT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Our Adult Behavioral Health services are centered on evidence-based practices and the latest research-supported interventions to restore and improve the quality of life for each individual served.
These services include:
Adult Therapy includes individual, couples’, and family counseling for those affected by trauma, mental illness, or substance abuse, using evidence-based practices and the latest research-supported interventions to restore and improve the quality of life for each individual served.
Facilitated by Recovery Peer Specialists or Counselors, our groups for teens and adults allow clients to share and relate to each other while learning new coping skills, life skills training, addiction supports, and more.
MENTAL HEALTH NAVIGATORS
In partnership with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Directions for Living employs two full-time Licensed Therapists, referred to as Navigators, who are partnered with law enforcement officers to respond to and follow up on mental health-related calls. The newly formed PCSO Mental Health Unit aims to correctly respond to individuals that are coming into frequent contact with law enforcement due to their mental illness. The Unit provides and links them to services that will hopefully lead to a more permanent solution.
Adult Psychiatry evaluates and treats those with acute, mild to severe, and / or chronic emotional or mental illness through medication therapy and monitoring.
We partner with dozens of locations across the community to provide specialized mental health services so that even more Pinellas County residents have access to Directions for Living’s care. These co-locations include local Departments of Health, shelters, clinics, outreach centers, and more.
MENTAL HEALTH CHECK TEAM
In partnership with the Clearwater Police Department, Directions for Living staff work on the Mental Health Check Team to help those who are coming into frequent contact with law enforcement due to their mental illness. The team encourages these clients to engage with services that will help provide them stability and treatment.
PREVENTION, WELLNESS, & RECOVERY
Our Prevention, Wellness, and Recovery services are centered on serving children, adults, and families in the Tampa Bay area who can benefit from enhanced or specialized programs for their needs.
These services include:
Through case management, we provide recovery-based and individualized supports including assessment, linkage, advocacy, and monitoring for adults and children with a severe and persistent mental illness.
We help adults and families living without homes, or at risk of homelessness, by linking them to a variety of resources and providing psychiatric care throughout the community, including at local shelters.
EARLY CHILDHOOD CONSULTATION (ECC)
ECC provides in-home parenting skills training for parents and on-site training for child care personnel. Our Early Childhood Specialists offer training in caring for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (0-5) and provide coordination to our therapy services for those with more intensive behavioral and emotional problems.
CERTIFIED RECOVERY PEER SPECIALIST SERVICES
We employ three Certified Recovery Peer Specialists, staff with their own lived experience of having severe mental illness, who assist clients through mentoring, advocacy, and other supports.
Directions for Living is proud to partner with Genoa, a QoL Healthcare Company, to host a full service in-house pharmacy for the convenience of our clients to fill any or all of their medications. Click here for more information on the pharmacy.
This program is designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI for adults who are experiencing or are at-risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. Directions for Living has four SOAR Benefit Specialists and a SOAR Coordinator for Pinellas County.
This is a service provided to children or adults seeking testing for a variety of psychological, cognitive, and / or behavioral disorders, from IQ to emotional functioning to autism spectrum tests and more.