October 2, 2023
For immediate release
Media contact: Cara Scarola Hansen
Center for Child Counseling Public Relations Counsel
Local Child First Members Receive National Recognition for Supporting Life-Changing Outcomes for Families
Three staff members from Center for Child Counseling and Families First of Palm Beach County honored with Compassion Awards.
2023 NSO Child First Compassion Award WinnersThe National Service Office (NSO) for Child First recently announced two local therapists and one care coordinator as the recipients of the 2023 Compassion Awards. Outstanding Child First team members– Prosline Chery-Jean and Clarissa DeWitt of Center for Child Counseling and Celine Julien of Families First of Palm Beach County–were recognized on September 12 at the National Symposium, the National Service Office’s annual education summit, in Seattle, WA.
Child First is an evidence-based, intensive, early childhood model offered through the NSO that works with the most challenged young children and their families, helping them heal from the damaging effects of stress and trauma. Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County funds staff members from Center for Child Counseling and Families First of Palm Beach County to serve as local affiliate partners in delivering the Child First program–home-based interventions and supports to families with young children who have complex challenges, such as serious emotional issues, development and learning problems, and child abuse and neglect.
This year, the NSO presented the inaugural Compassion Awards which recognize outstanding members of the Child First community in three categories: Clinician, Care Coordinator, and Clinical Supervisor. Local members were recognized as award winners for all three categories.
“As the funder of Child First in Palm Beach County, the Children’s Services Council is thrilled that all three national award recipients are from our county. We salute both Center for Child Counseling and Families First for displaying exceptional commitment and performance in delivering the Child First program and supporting life-changing outcomes for families here in Palm Beach County,” stated Dr. Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of the Children’s Services Council of PBC.
Prosline Chery-Jean of Center for Child Counseling received the Compassion Award for Clinician which recognizes a professional in the Child First community who centers relationship-based and reflective practice within their work and has achieved outstanding performance in delivering the model. Chery-Jean is a therapist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a double master’s degree in mental health and family counseling. She is devoted to creating nurturing environments for families, breaking intergenerational trauma, and fostering a healthy society. Chery-Jean has provided Child First services for more than five years and supports the Haitian/Creole population using her native language. She brings a unique perspective and passion for supporting the Haitian community in Palm Beach County.
Celine Julien of Families First is the recipient of the Compassion Award for Care Coordinator which recognizes an outstanding professional in the Child First community who authentically partners with families and always centers on relationship-based and reflective practices. Julien has been a Care Coordinator with the Child First program for three years and provides services to families in both English and Creole. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and is certified as a Behavioral Health Case Manager. Julien most enjoys facilitating joyful, reciprocal and developmentally enriching activities through the Abecedarian approach to learning. As her team would share, Julien is a true partner to families and goes above and beyond to build relationships in her community and connect families with the resources they need.
Clarissa DeWitt, also from Center for Child Counseling, received the Compassion Award for Clinical Supervisor which recognizes an outstanding Child First leader who goes above and beyond to support their team’s practice, wellbeing and professional development, and who engages their community to enhance Child First’s impact. DeWitt is a licensed mental health counselor who has worked at the Center for 10 years and in the community for almost 20 years, specializing in maternal and early childhood. She is a rostered provider of Child-Parent Psychotherapy along with holding a stellar reputation as an expert and leader in infant mental health. DeWitt served in the first leadership cohort under the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health that is bringing endorsement to the state. She lives out Child First’s principles every day and serves as an example to each member of her team celebrating their uniqueness, strengths, and professional growth.
Child First National Clinical Director Rebecca Parilla stated, “It was thrilling to offer the inaugural Compassion Awards at this year’s symposium. To recognize the hard work of such outstanding members of the Child First community was humbling and inspiring.”
For more information on the Child First program in Palm Beach County, visit www.centerforchildcounseling.org/child-first-program.
About Center for Child Counseling
Center for Child Counseling has been building the foundation for playful, healthful, and hopeful living for children and families in Palm Beach County since 1999. Its services focus on preventing and healing the effects of adverse experiences and toxic stress on children, promoting resiliency and healthy family, school, and community relationships. www.centerforchildcounseling.org Twitter: @ChildCounselPBC Facebook: @CenterforChildCounseling Instagram: @childcounselpbc
About Families First of PBC
For over three decades, Families First has been a beacon of hope for families in need. They provide a helping hand, empowering families to regain self-sufficiency and create safe, loving homes for their children. Their comprehensive services focus on family strengthening, health, behavioral health, and housing, ensuring that families receive the support they need to thrive. Since 1990, Families First has served over 51,000 children and family members through their prevention, early intervention, and programs.www.familiesfirstpbc.org Twitter: @FamiliesFirstPB Facebook: www.facebook.com/FamiliesFirstPalmBeachCounty Instagram: familiesfirstofpbc
2023 Compassion Award recipients (L-R): Clarissa DeWitt of Center for Child Counseling for Clinical Supervisor; Prosline Chery-Jean of Center for Child Counseling for Clinician; Celine Julien of Families First for Care Coordinator.