To sustain a team of county and business leaders who mobilize resources to improve the education, health, safety, nutrition and care of all children in St. Lucie County.
We envision a community where county leaders, businesses and residents are united to provide all children of St. Lucie County the resources they need to thrive, be successful and achieve their full potential.
The Roundtable of St. Lucie County, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, is a group of St. Lucie County leaders who work together to accomplish system change that results in improved outcomes for youth throughout St. Lucie County. The Roundtable does not focus on “quick fixes.” Instead, it identifies and implements research-based, comprehensive solutions to achieve and sustain long-term success for St. Lucie County youth.
The board was created in 1995 by five Chief Executive Officers from the Fort Pierce Police Department, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children & Families, the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, and the City of Port St. Lucie. Their goal was to develop a comprehensive plan to better the lives of children in St. Lucie County. Since 1995, the board has grown to include chief or executive level officers from approximately 30 community organizations.
In 1999, the Roundtable of St. Lucie County was one of six sites in the State of Florida to secure a grant from the national Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Under the grant, the Roundtable conducted a county–wide assessment of data relating to St. Lucie County’s children, and developed a comprehensive plan called St. Lucie Hand in Hand to reduce risk factors and problem behaviors facing St. Lucie County youth. The comprehensive St. Lucie Hand in Hand plan is centered on a “risk-focused” prevention model, supported by over 30 years of adolescent problem behavior research by Dr. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano. For the past 23 years, St. Lucie Hand in Hand has served as the foundation for all of the Roundtable’s activities.
In 2017, the Roundtable of St. Lucie County’s Substance Abuse Prevention Network was awarded a five-year Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant of $125,000 per year from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and in 2023 applied for the five-year continuation of this same grant and was successful. This award will fund our coalition through 2028. The Strategic Prevention Framework guides the work of the Drug Free St. Lucie Coalition to develop infrastructure for community-based public health approaches, that lead to effective and sustainable reductions in alcohol, marijuana, and other substance use.
This funding is recognition from the federal government of both the leadership of the Roundtable and the community’s commitment to creating a healthy and safe environment for all St. Lucie County youth. The grant provides local community coalition funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, and underage drinking.
Also in 2023, the Roundtable of St. Lucie County has been awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnership for Success Grant (SPF-PFS) for $375,000 per year for 5 years through 2028 to launch the St. Lucie RISE Strategic Prevention Partnership under its umbrella. The purpose of this grant program is to help communities work collaboratively to reduce the onset and progression of substance misuse and its related problems by supporting the development and delivery of community substance misuse prevention and mental health promotion services. The SPF-PFS program is grounded in the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), a data-driven community engagement model grounded in public health principles focused on providing evidence-based services to high-risk and underserved communities. Consistent with the Roundtable’s mission, this grant will enhance our mission to sustain a team of county and business leaders who mobilize resources to improve the education, health, safety, nutrition, and care of all children in St. Lucie County.
Today’s Roundtable consists of five (5) Networks that concentrate on the following key areas: Academic Success, Kids at Hope, Child & Adolescent Health (5-2-1-0 and SafeKids), Child Welfare & Juvenile Justice (Crossover Youth Practice Model), Economic Sufficiency (Bridges To Prosperity), and Safe Neighborhoods (IGNITE Youth Alliance and Lincoln Park Advisory Committee). The singular focus of each network allows it to develop a strategic plan of action around its specific risk factors through education, system and policy change, and comprehensive environmental strategies. In addition to these five networks, the Roundtable directs the following four initiatives: Kids at Hope, Youth Leadership St. Lucie, IGNITE Youth Alliance, and Drug Free St. Lucie. Please visit their pages to learn more about the amazing work our initiatives are doing in our community.
Working together, the Roundtable and its partners have achieved significant success in St. Lucie County:
PREGNANCIES AMONG 18-19 YEAR OLD TEENS HAS DECREASED FROM 45.5 PER 1,000 BIRTHS IN 2014 TO 28.5 PER 1,000 BIRTHS IN 2021
FIGHTING BEHAVIOR AMONG MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAS DECREASED FROM 8.6% IN 2014 TO 6% IN 2022
EARLY INITIATION OF MARIJUANA USAGE AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAS DECREASED FROM 15.6% IN 2014 TO 2.2% IN 2022
PAST 30-DAY ALCOHOL USE AMONG MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAS DECREASED FROM 22% IN 2014 TO 6% IN 2022
GRADUATION RATES HAVE INCREASED FROM 73.2% IN 2013-14 TO 94.5% IN 2020-21
AFRICAN AMERICAN INFANT MORTALITY HAS DECREASED FROM 18.5 PER 1,000 BIRTHS IN 2014 TO 7.1 PER 1,000 BIRTHS IN 2021
REDUCTION OF CHILDREN (AGED 0-17 YEARS) BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL FROM 28.2% IN 2014 TO 17.3% IN 2021
NON-FATAL DROWNINGS-ER VISITS DECREASED FROM 8 IN 2014 TO <5 IN 2020
ER VISITS FROM NON-FATAL UNINTENTIONAL FALLS (AGES 1-5 YEARS) DECREASED FROM 5,809 IN 2014 TO 4,880 IN 2021