Community Based Programs

Non-Residential Family Crisis Intervention Counseling

When family tensions mount and problems seem overwhelming, Miami Bridge’s “First Stop for Families Program” is here to assist – working with approximately 400 youth and their families per year.  Funded by the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and local foundations, this program is designed to provide services to help families stay together and divert children from having to utilize emergency shelter services by providing short-term family crisis intervention services. Our professionally trained social work staff understands the frustrations that drive wedges between children and families. With  mediation services  designed to open lines of communication in times of crisis and stress, we  help families develop new solutions and approaches to overcome conflicts.  Miami Bridge’s “First Stop for Families” offers comprehensive assessments, case management, short-term counseling, and linkage to appropriate community services.

The program is designed to: 

  • Assess the needs of youth and their families
  • Assist families in opening lines of communication
  • Teach families effective conflict- resolution skills
  • Reduce high- risk antisocial behaviors
  • Link families with needed community resources
  • Teach effective parenting skills


To ensure that client needs are met, case management services include referrals to other appropriate providers for the following services: health care; entitlement benefits; education; youth development activities; psychological and psychiatric services; legal assistance; therapeutic counseling; housing, parenting skills classes, etc.  In cases where more intensive services are needed, Miami Bridge can petition the court to assist the family through the CINS/FINS process.  The average length of services is approximately 12 weeks.  Follow-up is provided at 30 and 60 days after discharge.

Truancy Diversion Services

Formal education is a crucial key to future success. Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services, Inc. intercedes when Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has exhausted its range of outreach activities to re-engage truant youth. Miami Bridge goes a step further by developing new strategies to assist youth in overcoming issues that impede school attendance and personal development. We offer an array of intervention services to assist families with troubled children ages 6-17 who are at-risk, chronic runaways, abused, abandoned or neglected and /or have a history of habitual truancy and related behaviors.  Miami Bridge also offers community- based services such as “First Stop for Families,”  our family crisis prevention/intervention program that assists families  who feel overwhelmed  due to youth who  demonstrate ungovernable behaviors such as staying out late,  difficulties in school , habitual truancy  or conduct issues.   Federal and state compliance offices provide assistance to schools that wish to refer truant students to a social service agency. Miami Bridge is one of two agencies serving M-DCPS that intercedes when M-DCPS’s Truancy Child Study Team meets and concludes that all efforts were made to re-engage the truant youth to no avail.  There are approximately 900 truant youth referred to Miami Bridge yearly that require new strategies to assist them in overcoming issues that impede school attendance, academic performance and /or prosocial skill development. Miami Bridge is serving all elementary, middle and postsecondary schools in the Central and South Region of Miami-Dade County.  Through funding from the United Way and Florida Network, Miami Bridge is able to employ Master’s level counselors and case managers to address these critical issues.