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Andres Torrens, CPO and Julie Swindler, CEO accepted the Sapphire Award on behalf of Families First of Palm Beach County.  Charlotte Gill and Scott Hansel, from Community Partners, joined the Families First team in the celebration.

Florida Blue Foundation recognizes Families First of Palm Beach County with a $50,000 Sapphire Award

(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue,  honored nine recipients who are doing exemplary work to provide mental health care services and support to those who otherwise may not have access to this type of care.

The Florida Blue Foundation announced the winners at its annual Sapphire Awards ceremony on April 12 in Orlando. Each of the programs, organizations, and individuals honored with a Sapphire Award was selected through a robust external review process for their exemplary leadership, innovative ideas, demonstrated outcomes, and excellence. They all have a track record of improving mental well-being outcomes, which directly impact people’s overall health and quality of life. Families First of Palm Beach County received a second-place award and $50,000 based on their impactful programs in the community.

“As a mission-driven company focused on helping people and communities achieve better health, we are committed to improving access to care, including mental health support, to reduce the stressors that often impact entire families and communities,” said Susan Towler, executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation. “We are truly impressed with the results these nine awardees have achieved and look forward to working with them as they continue to make a difference for the individuals and communities they serve.”

Families First of Palm Beach County offers a range of programs and services to support families, including a family support and coaching program, trauma-informed care for birth to five, mental health counseling for children, youth and young adults, and family support services for specialized populations such as relative caregivers and the chronically homeless. The organization has served over 51,000 children and family members in Palm Beach County since 1990 and is committed to continuing to make a positive impact in the community.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized, along with other community partners of Florida, by Florida Blue Foundation,” said Julie Swindler, CEO of Families First of Palm Beach County. “This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, and community partners who work tirelessly to support families and strengthen our community. We are grateful for the recognition and will continue to strive to make a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”

Families First has seven programs that serve children from prenatal to age 22, as well as their families, by providing health, mental health, family strengthening and housing programs. Families First’s early intervention programs are shown to reduce rates of child abuse, domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, and challenges related to behavioral and mental health.

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we also want to spotlight our Infant Mental Health program. Trauma and mental health disorders in young children develop into serious issues that affect the way they learn, behave, and handle their emotions, and their overall health. Families First’s Infant Mental Health Program provides therapeutic practices that are focused on the social-emotional development of a baby aged zero to five. The early therapeutic work is essential to preventing future mental health disorders for children and to ensure safety for the most vulnerable infants and toddlers. Our therapists use a variety of trauma-informed therapeutic techniques to work with young children, their caregivers, and their preschool providers in the home or childcare center.

For more information about Families First of Palm Beach County, visit

Families First of Palm Beach County is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing programs and services that empower families and children to achieve their full potential. The organization works closely with parents, caregivers, schools, and community partners to identify the needs of families and develop effective solutions to help them overcome challenges, achieve their goals, and become self-sufficient.