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DJJ Faith Forum Volunteers Help At-Risk Kids

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St. Petersburg -- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) today held a forum for faith-based organizations entitled, “Our Children, Our Future” at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg. This regional event provides formal training for DJJ’s Faith and Community Network and Volunteer Chaplaincy Program. The Network consists entirely of faith-based and community organizations that join as DJJ volunteer partners to help children turn their lives around.

“DJJ’s faith partners and volunteer chaplains support the success of troubled children in their communities,” said DJJ Secretary Frank Peterman, Jr. “Florida stands forward among states in enlisting such widespread, comprehensive and organized support on a purely volunteer basis.”

Several of the DJJ Faith and Community Network partners were present at today’s forum, including: The 11th District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Florida Catholic Conference, Sports World Ministries and the Network’s newest member, Trinity Broadcasting Network.

“The organizations that volunteer to join DJJ’s Faith and Community Network serve important functions in their communities,” commented Andy Hindman, Director of Faith and Community Partnerships for DJJ. “A critical role is to connect families with faith-based services and resources. We are grateful for these partners, many of which are represented here today.”

Today’s event kicks off the first of seven regional “Our Children, Our Future” Faith Forums throughout Florida that will:

  • Raise awareness of and create a dialogue about issues impacting at-risk youth and their families;
     
  • Educate faith communities about the juvenile justice system;
     
  • Train participants in how to serve as a liaison to connect volunteer resources of the faith community to at-risk children and their families. This help is offered to youth and families completely voluntarily and never as a program requirement for youth.

The DJJ Faith and Community Network and its Volunteer Chaplaincy Program are offered through the DJJ Office of Prevention. To join the Faith and Community Network or the Volunteer Chaplaincy Program, please contact Andy Hindman at Andy.Hindman@djj.state.fl.us, or call (866) 888-4355.

The mission of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is to increase public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency through effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that strengthen families and turn around the lives of troubled youth. For more information, please visit our website at FlaDJJ.com or www.djj.state.fl.us.

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