Brehon Family Services

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Protecting Children, Nurturing Familes

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does Brehon mean?

A: The people of ancient Ireland felt it was a privilege to offer a roof, substance, warmth and welcome to travelers. The Brehon Laws stated that citizens should "offer hospitality to anyone who happened upon their dwelling place". So it is at Brehon, located in the Big Bend region of Florida, where families are always welcomed and nurtured.

Q: Where does Brehon get funding?

A: The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Partnership for Strong Families, Florida Department of Children and Families, United Way of the Big Bend, City of Tallahassee, Leon County Commission, and various foundation and private contributions.

Q: What programs do you offer?

A: Project S.A.F.E., Brehon House, and Healthy Families Gadsden/Healthy Families Leon.

Q: How many people does Brehon help each year?

A: Last year, Brehon assisted 2,799 people with basic needs, shelter, family support and parent education.

Q: What happened to Serenity Shores Maternity Home ?

A: Serenity Shores Maternity Home is now called Brehon House.

Q: How many people have been helped by Project S.A.F.E.?

A: In 2007/2008, Project S.A.F.E. (Support and Family Education) provided individual case management and in-home parent education and support services to 197 pregnant and parenting women and their infants and toddlers who were at risk of poor birth outcomes or at risk of child abuse/neglect.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The services available to these families are all voluntary and were offered at no cost to them.

Q: What kind of success does Project S.A.F.E. have?

A: When families accept services, they worked with their trained case manager to identify their own reasonable and attainable goals. Of the families that completed services, 98% have met 80% or more of their goals. We have also had successes in the areas of babies' APGAR scores and low birth weight babies that improved and followed normal weight and growth patterns.

Q: How many women does Brehon House accommodate?

A: Brehon House can accommodate 8 women plus their newborns and toddlers at any given time.

Q: What is the cost to the women at Brehon House?

A: All services are provided at no cost to the client.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for Brehon House?

A: The clients must be at least 18 years of age, pregnant at the time of their enrollment, currently homeless or living in a dangerous environment from which they wish to escape, have no criminal history that would pose a danger to themselves, to other residents, or to staff, and be willing to abide by the house rules.

Q: How long is the average stay at Brehon House?

A: The average stay at Brehon House is five months. In 2007/2008 100% of Brehon House residents moved into more permanent housing following their stay at Brehon House.

Q: How many women has Brehon House helped?

A: This past year, Brehon House provided transitional shelter and support services to 27 homeless, pregnant women and 22 toddlers and infants. Approximately 200 referrals were made to other medical or social services providers to enable clients to meet their individual service plan goals. In addition, 100% of the residents delivered healthy babies. Community involvement included over 100 hours of volunteers' time donated to Brehon House.

Q: What is the purpose of Healthy Families Gadsden/Healthy Families Leon?

A: It is a part of Healthy Families Florida, a community-based, voluntary home visiting program that promotes positive parent-child interaction and child growth and development. This program is designed to prevent child abuse and neglect and other poor child outcomes.

Q: When are these services available?

A: Prior to and at the birth of a baby. Healthy Families can serve families for up to five years, depending on the needs of the family.

Q: How many families have been helped by Healthy Families Gadsden/Leon?

A: During 2007/2008, Healthy Families provided over 7,000 hours of in-home parent education and support to 331 families in Gadsden county and 189 families in Leon county.