October 26, 2018

At Commenda we want to show who we are and not just what we do. Members of our teams are involved in a multitude of philanthropies and are extraordinarily dedicated to giving back to their communities. Below is a great example one team member’s involvement:

By Kirby H. Griffin

I took my first tour of the Daniel campus in 1992 and have been on the Board of Trustees for 15 years, having served two terms as Chairman.  I am currently the immediate past chairman. Daniel Memorial, founded in 1884, is the oldest child-serving agency in Florida. The agency motto, “improving the odds for kids,” captures the purpose of our mission “to improve the lives of children and families.” We seek to ensure that the most vulnerable Duval County children and families are provided with the skills and supports necessary to become resilient, healthy, contributing citizens.  To this end, we currently provide a continuum of programs that exist to help youth and their families to thrive within their communities, including residential and community-based mental health treatment, foster care and adoption, education services and comprehensive services for homeless teens and young adults. All programs, serving over 3000 children and youth each year, are accredited by the Council on Accreditation.  The following describes key programs:

Community-Based Mental Health Treatment: The program provides comprehensive mental health treatment services including trauma-focused therapy, wrap-around case management and psychiatric care for children and adults. Services are provided both in-home as well as in schools in designated areas in the north, west and beaches areas.

Residential Mental Health Treatment:  The Statewide In-Patient Psychiatric program (SIPP) provides intensive, comprehensive psychiatric treatment services for children and adolescents exhibiting symptoms of severe mental health disorders.

School-Based Juvenile Justice Program-This Jacksonville Journey program provides case management, education, and therapeutic services for youth who have been involved in the juvenile justice system to promote lawful, productive behaviors.

Foster Care and Adoption Services:  As a Case Management Organization, services include provision of legal guardianship for children in foster care, facilitation of adoptions, and intensive post-reunification in-home case management.

Foster Care Prevention Services: The Strengthening Ties and Empowering Parents Program (STEPS) is designed as a part of the foster care program to prevent children from being separated from their families through intensive in-home parent support, case management, and parenting skills instruction and coaching.

Therapeutic Foster Care: The agency is home of the largest therapeutic foster care program in the state. The program provides safe, nurturing family homes with in-home therapeutic services for foster children with mental health disabilities. All therapeutic foster parents receive advanced training to prepare them to help these children thrive.

Homeless Services: The agency has provided the necessary safety nets for homeless youth and young adults (ages 16-21) for over 25 years through on-site residence, life skills training, job and school placement, counseling, and intensive case management.

Education Services: The agency is the home of Daniel Academy, a private elementary school serving children with learning and emotional disorders.

Conferences and Sales: The Daniel Institute develops and distributes independent living materials to agencies throughout the U.S. and conducts an annual national independent living conference and four state-wide adoption and foster care conference.

Adoption Information Center:  The agency is the official home of the Florida Adoption and Independent Living Hotline. The Center provides information regarding all facets of adoption for citizens throughout the state and well as facilitates Adoption Competency Certification training for clinicians working with adopted children.

For more information please go to our web site,

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