Eckerd Youth Alternatives
100 Starcrest Drive
Clearwater, FL 33765
Helping Children and Families Succeed: Itís What We Champion and What We Do.
Welcome to Eckerd. Whether youíre a parent or caregiver seeking help for a troubled teenager or at-risk child, a professional who helps youth, or youíre searching for the career of a lifetime, I hope youíll find this website a valuable resource.
Eckerd champions the good in every child, helps rebuild self-esteem and emphasizes the value of personal relationships. Our results show that with proper encouragement and a caring approach, young people can, and will, change.
Helping children succeed: Itís what weíve championed for over 40 years, itís what we do, and itís what we celebrate. Throughout this website, youíll find many inspiring testimonials and success stories that illustrate how we have helped teens and children overcome multiple challenges and incredible odds.
As a national leader in helping youth at risk and their families, it is Eckerdís vision that every child receives an opportunity to succeed. Thank you for visiting our site, and I hope you will join our mailing list to stay in touch.
President and CEO
A Proud History of Providing Second Chances
Founded in 1968, Eckerd is a pioneering youth services organization dedicated to helping kids succeed. Through a full continuum of life-changing behavioral health and child welfare services nationwide, weíve given much-needed second chances to more than 100,000 children and families. Today, Eckerd is one of the nationís leading not-for-profit providers of services for youth at risk, and their families.
A Humble Beginning
Back in the late 1960ís, at-risk children who could not be helped through school or community counseling were often institutionalized. Our founders, Jack and Ruth Eckerd, wanted to create better alternatives for helping children turn their lives around. In 1968, they purchased 800 acres in Brooksville, FL to provide the first private wilderness therapy program in the state of Florida. Although the program is now called Eckerd Academy at Brooksville, it is still in operation today. Its philosophy? In a nurturing, caring environment kids learn how to re-direct their behavior, take responsibility for their choices, and develop the skills to become productive, successful citizens. The early success of Eckerd Academy at Brooksville led the Eckerds to open the first outdoor therapeutic program for girls in the southeastern United States in 1969. That program is also still in operation today.
The Reputation Grows
By 1982, the State of Florida asked Eckerd to operate the Stateís first private juvenile justice program. In 1985, Eckerd began providing aftercare services to youth at risk who have successfully completed an Eckerd Residential Therapeutic Program or other juvenile justice program.
Expansion of Eckerdís outdoor therapeutic services continued throughout the 1980ís. By the end of the decade, there were 12 Eckerd outdoor therapeutic services and two residential therapeutic services spread across six states.
Prevention, Early Intervention and Academic Growth
During the 1990ís, to further support our vision of ensuring each child has the opportunity to succeed, Eckerd expanded our continuum of care beyond residential treatment. In 1993, Eckerd launched youth violence prevention and character education services in elementary and middle schools to help prevent younger children from becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.
Recognizing that young people need continued support when they return home from residential treatment, Eckerd also began offering Aftercare services throughout Florida in 1993 to help youth successfully transition to their home communities.
Expansion of Community-Based Support Programs
Eckerd embarked on a serious expansion of our continuum of care in the new millennium. This reflects Eckerdís steady focus on the needs of the children and families that we serve, as well as the systems and organizations we partner with to help youth succeed. The result? A multitude of evidence-based, community behavioral health and child welfare services were added to Eckerdís continuum of care. In fact, Eckerdís depth and breadth of our continuum of care is one distinction that sets us apart from most youth and family services providers across the country.
Today, Eckerdís core service composition is no longer residential programming − a focus that defined our youth services organization for much of our history. Through the breadth and depth of our services, our performance-based focus and our more than 40 years of experience, Eckerd has proudly become the first name in second chances.
Anger Management,Behavioral Health,Child Abuse,Substance Abuse
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