Category: News & Articles

ELC Featured on WJHG.com – Looking Into Why More Children Are In Foster Care

By Gail Levy/WJHG | Posted to WJHG.COM ON Thu 4:36 PM, Apr 04, 2019 | Updated: Fri 6:49 AM, Apr 05, 2019

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – “We do have, certainly, steady numbers and increasing numbers,” said Magistrate Shannon Lord of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

Lord says Hurricane Michael brought more than physical destruction.

“You have people in crisis. You have people even, you know, particularly after the hurricane, that now have no housing, no stability,” said Lord.

Officials with the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida are also feeling the effects.

“We got about a 40 percent increase in the number of children served for this year so far, from where we were last year,” said Executive Director of the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida, Suzan Gage.

But both the court and the non-profit agency are searching for answers.

“Could it be Hurricane Michael? Could it be, you know, parents with opioids or is it just trauma drama or abuse or whatever it is? You just gotta step back and ask what is going on with our young children,” said Gage. Continue reading “ELC Featured on WJHG.com – Looking Into Why More Children Are In Foster Care”

ELC Featured on WJHG/News Channel 7 – Helping Children Cope After Hurricane Michael

By Gail Levy/WJHG | Posted to WJHG.COM ON Wed 5:13 PM, Mar 06, 2019 | Updated: Thu 6:43 AM, Mar 07, 2019

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Mental Health Therapist Sandra Eddington works with children to see the full effect Hurricane Michael left on young minds.

“We’re hearing a lot about nightmares, questions about if the rain is another hurricane coming with the rain or thunder,” said Eddington.

For some young children, it’s harder to express their feelings. So Eddington is working to get children to share their emotions by reading a book called ‘Once I was very, very scared’ and make drawings to go with it.

“A lot of their drawings was wind, trees, rain, doors, their house, they actually also drew their favorite toy, you know, what was gone,” said Eddington.

“That gives them words to explain what has gone on in their life,” said Quality Services Director for the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida, Donna Carnley.
Continue reading “ELC Featured on WJHG/News Channel 7 – Helping Children Cope After Hurricane Michael”