State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Andy Ritter
April 2, 2008 (813) 558-5531

Children and Families Announces New Community-Based Care Agency for Pinellas and Pasco Counties

TAMPA, FLA. – Department of Children and Families announced today that Eckerd Youth Alternatives, Inc. has been selected as the new Community-based Care Lead Agency for Pasco and Pinellas counties. During the past several weeks, the Department’s SunCoast Region has been actively involved in selecting a new community-based care agency for the two counties. Eckerd Youth Alternatives, Inc. and Camelot Community Care, Inc. were both in negotiations with THE Department during the past several weeks.

“Both agencies were extremely impressive, which made this decision a win-win for the children and families of the community,” said SunCoast Regional Director Nick Cox. “I want to personally extend an enormous thanks to Camelot, Eckerd, and the members of the selection team for their dedicated and tireless work.”

Headquartered in Clearwater, Eckerd Youth Alternatives, Inc. is a private, non-for profit organization currently operating 41 programs serving children and adolescents in nine states. Their vision is to develop and operate programs that promote emotional and social competence, academic success, personal responsibility and self-esteem. Eckerd was founded in 1968 by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in response to an absence of effective services to children and families.

The selection team was comprised of a variety of community leaders and Department of Children and Families officials, which by consensus selected Eckerd. The Department issued an invitation to negotiate for the Pasco and Pinellas service contract following the Sarasota YMCA’s decision not to pursue a renewal of their contract in November of last year.

The Department of Children and Families contracts with community-based care agencies throughout the state to provide child welfare services in Florida’s communities. Those services include, but are not limited to foster care case management, placements and licensing, as well as family intervention and adoption services. To learn more about the Department of Children and Families, visit


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