In April 2001, the Broward Child Welfare Initiative – a group of hundreds of business leaders, educators, government leaders, social service providers and private citizens committed to helping reform the foster care system – came together at the state of Florida’s request to meet the challenge of building a better system. They recognized that the system could not cure its problems by itself. The Community Foundation of Broward and the UnitedWay of Broward County commissioned a strategic planning effort in the fall of 2003 to develop a systemic approach to providing foster care youth with a support system that would help them become productive adults.
The resulting strategic plan recommended a “single-point-of-contact” position that was created in 2006, and housed at the UnitedWay and jointly funded by the Community Foundation. At the same time, with its long history serving the community – including the creation of lasting legacies in Broward County – The Junior League began working with community members to research what the greatest needs were and where the League could assist. A “One-Stop Resource Center” was selected as their next strategic project, with the vision of the TIL Resource Center increasing youth access to critical services and to enhance the services offered to them. On July 1, 2008, the Junior League officially assumed the role as the “single-point-of-contact” for the community, making way for the birth of The FLITE Center.
Today the FLITE Center is a centralized facility in Broward County for dependent youth to learn the skills needed for independent living. The topics of concentration include, but are not limited to, the importance of completion of education; government benefits, budgeting and banking; job and vocational training; housing options and other essential skills needed to live independently.