Search

What We Do

We transform the lives of Florida’s children, advocating for their rights and creating an environment where they can soar.

“I’m passionate about giving youth in care a fair chance to live a normal life.”

Martavius Lowery

Florida Youth SHINE Alumni

Every child deserves to be safe, nurtured, housed, and heard. Protecting the lives of children is what Florida’s Children First is committed to. Changing the lives of children is what we do.

Through our programs. Through our advocacy. Through our collaborative partnerships with child advocates, policymakers and implementers, community leaders and concerned, compassionate individuals. We work together to create long-term sustainable improvements to Florida’s child welfare system to produce better outcomes for the youth in foster care, 

Our approach dives deep into systemic reform, targeting foundational issues and driving change from the ground up. Through educational initiatives, we empower both young individuals and adults with the tools and insights they need to assert their rights confidently. Our affinity group, Florida Youth SHINE, offers a nurturing platform for youth voices, fostering community and mentorship. And, with steadfast legal representation, we’re ensuring that each child’s rights are not just recognized but fervently upheld.

Our Advocacy Work

We’re in it for the long haul, working to improve the system of care and positively impact the lives of thousands of children.

Legislative

.

We don’t settle for quick fixes or limited impact. Instead, we play a vital role in advocating, educating, and shaping legislation to address the underlying challenges faced by children. Our team works closely with the legislature to make laws that put children first.
Click Here

Judicial Branch

.

We believe that young people should have a voice in the decisions that shape their lives, By promoting youth participation in court, and ensuring the administration of justice is fair,  we’re working to ensure that children’s perspectives are heard & valued.
Click Here

Local, State & Federal

.

We’re advocates at every level. Our team begins by addressing local issues and then elevates them to the state and federal government, working tirelessly to bring about policy changes that directly benefit children. In fact, we’re proud to have had the privilege of advocating to the President’s administration at the White House!
Click Here

Media

.

As the go-to experts on child welfare, we provide valuable insights and information to the media. By sharing our knowledge and providing youth the opportunity to share their lived-experiences, we aim to educate and engage the public, sparking conversations and driving meaningful action.
Click Here

Amicus Briefs

.

We file amicus briefs in state and federal courts to stand up for children’s rights. These influential legal documents play a crucial role in shaping important cases and prioritizing the best interests of children. Through our efforts, we ensure that the voices and rights of children are strongly represented in the judicial system.
Click Here

Executive Branch

.

We engage and partner with agencies, such as the Department of Children and Families, to improve policies and focus on solutions.
Click Here

Education Support & Resources

We strive to provide critical training and education resources to youth and professionals to equip them with the knowledge to be advocates and champions for the children of Florida.

Education & Training for Professionals

.

We recognize that powerful change begins with informed minds. We're not just raising awareness; we're igniting a movement by shedding light on critical children’s issues and forging formidable partnerships. Our ambition goes beyond awareness; we're building an unyielding force for Florida's children. Moreover, our advanced training programs are specifically tailored for professionals, equipping them with the knowledge and strategies to profoundly uplift the lives of our youth
Click Here

Publications & Technical Support

.

Our publications aren't just writings; they're clarions of change, designed to enlighten children, professionals, and society at large. Beyond this, our robust technical support and collaboration with preeminent national advocacy groups have positioned us as a vanguard for youth advocacy, influencing change on a national scale.
Click Here

Education & Training for Youth

.

Empowerment begins early. We’re dedicated to imparting our youth with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to navigate their world, advocate for their rights, and realize their boundless potential. Our education and training initiatives ensure they’re equipped to become tomorrow’s leaders and advocates.
Click Here

Youth Voice

Florida Youth SHINE

We believe in the power of young advocates! That’s why we created Florida Youth SHINE, an organization that works with youth who have personally experienced the foster care system and now youth who experienced homelessness. Their firsthand knowledge and insights help us stay informed and understand the needs of other children in similar situations to better drive systemic change. Since its inception in 2005, Florida Youth SHINE has become a dynamic youth-led organization with the unwavering support of Florida’s Children First.

Legal Representation for Children

Promoting high-quality legal representation is one of our core focuses. Here’s how we support it:

Attorney Support & Training

Our team provides a range of support for attorneys, including technical assistance, sample pleadings, opportunities to connect with colleagues, and a sounding board. We also offer free training programs to help lawyers representing children and others in the child welfare system understand how laws work to protect children’s rights. Click here to learn more.

Florida Dependency Law Center

Our online legal resource, the Florida Dependency Law Center, is designed to assist attorneys and judges working with children in dependency court. You can find valuable resources and information at FloridaDependencyLawCenter.org.

Brief Advice, Counsel, and Referral

We provide advice to children and the adults who care for, support, or refer them to legal aid and pro-bono lawyers for help

Client Representation

We’re excited to announce that we are now able to provide legal representation to a limited number of children

Legal Representation for Children

Promoting high-quality legal representation is one of our core focuses. Here’s how we support it:

Attorney Support & Training

.

Our team provides a range of support for attorneys, including technical assistance, sample pleadings, opportunities to connect with colleagues, and a sounding board. We also offer free training programs to help lawyers representing children and others in the child welfare system understand how laws work to protect children’s rights. Click here to learn more.
Click Here

Florida Dependency Law Center

.

Our online legal resource, the Florida Dependency Law Center, is designed to assist attorneys and judges working with children in dependency court. You can find valuable resources and information at FloridaDependencyLawCenter.org.

Brief Advice, Counsel, and Referral

.

We provide advice to children and the adults who care for, support, or refer them to legal aid and pro-bono lawyers for help.
Click Here

Client Representation

.

We’re excited to announce that we are now able to provide legal representation to a limited number of children.
Click Here
Skip to content