As found in the January, 2017 edition of The Park Press.

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Click here to see the online version.

Family Stabilization Program’s Lasting Impact

The premise of the Family Stabilization Program is based on the adage “Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day—teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.”

The Family Stabilization Program (FSP) is an intensive six-month case management program that uses a holistic approach to help low-income individuals and families achieve financial stability and self-sufficiency. This goal is accomplished byproviding participants with supportive services to mitigate immediate crises; and teaching them critical skills and tools to build a stable future.

Throughout their participation in the program, FSP clients receive a unique combination of services tailored to meet their individual needs, all of which are provided at no cost to participants: case management, financial education, individual financial counseling, financial assistance for basic needs (such as rent or utilities), employability skills training, mental health counseling, and food assistance.

The target population for the Family Stabilization Program is low-income individuals and families in Orange and Seminole Counties who are financially insecure and/or at risk of homelessness. In the most recently completed program year, concluded on September 30, 2015, FSP served 33 households, composed of 109 individuals, 58 of whom were children. Approximately 48% of these households were headed by single mothers. These 33 households experienced the following results:

  • 85% successfully completed the six-month program and improved their overall stability and self-sufficiency
  • 100% of clients who participated in the financial components of the program improved money management skills
  • 94% of clients maintained or improved employment status
  • 94% of clients maintained or improved housing

The Family Stabilization Program (FSP) clients receive services such as food assistance, financial counseling and employability skills training.

  • 9 clients participated in mental health counseling to improve functioning
  • 19 clients received food assistance to alleviate hunger
  • 23 clients received financial assistance to support basic needs

Since its inception in 2005, the Family Stabilization Program has served more than 550 at risk families, positively impacting more than 1,600 individuals in Central Florida. To date, outcomes have shown significant improvements in participants’ overall income, financial management skills, employability skills, housing stability, food security, emotional well-being and day-to-day functioning.

FSP is an outreach of the Jewish Family Services of Orlando. JFS Orlando provides social services and emergency assistance to struggling individuals and families throughout Central Florida. People

interested in learning more about the program can call 407-644-7593 or go to the JFS Orlando website – http://www.jfsorlando.org/family-stabilization-program-fsp/.