Site Visit: FACES

DCF Secretary David Wilkins talks about his recent visit to Families and Communities Empowered for Success (FACES), a Miami organization that works with youth and families to strengthen mental health care. 

DCF Secretary David WilkinsSix siblings in a single-parent home. Dropping out of school. Being discharged from the military because of drugs. A divorce.  More drug use.

Life did not start well for Aaron K. Alvin Sr. But he overcame it. He entered rehab and overcame his addiction to drugs and completely turned his life around. He now has a Master’s degree and is working to help others get help for their addictions.

Aaron’s story was just one of many shared during my recent visit to FACES’ Youth and Family Empowerment Summit. The event brought together families and youth to empower them to take control of their mental health.

The artwork the children produced amazed me. Paintings, photos, drawing, music. This was the real deal. The artwork was a way for them to express their mental health recovery. These kids have been on quite a journey. Here are a few samples:

Their choir, a Youth MOVE group, sang a cappella at the event. Check out the video below to hear one of their previous performances:

FACES partners with local schools, the Department of Juvenile Justice, Family Safety, the Federation of Families, Florida International University, substance abuse and mental health providers, and many local businesses to give their kids the tools they need to live their lives. These public-private partnerships are exactly what we are trying to do all over Florida. It is vital to providing services for our kids.


If you or a family member needs help with mental health or substance abuse, visit our online directory.


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