Children’s Services


Compass Center

Compass Center Is located on 4 acres in Punta Gorda. It is a 120 day dual diagnosis residential center for boys and girls 13-17 years old, with drug, alcohol and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Each individual’s treatment plan addresses their specific needs.
We emphasize personal responsibility and accountability, honesty, integrity, empathy, family, community involvement, self-reliance and a strong “moral” compass that reinforces good citizenry. Compass is not a “one size fits all” program. Our approach is holistic and unique. Clients attend a top virtual school when in residence.
Insurance is accepted, sliding scale payment options are available.
Click to learn more about the Compass Center

Outpatient Services:

Case Management and Targeted Case Management

941-552-1950, extension 4404
Our case managers help clients gain access to the services needed to meet their mental health and personal needs, achieve recovery and live independently in the community. We coordinate service with other providers to help each individual achieve personalized goals.
The primary goal of general and targeted case management is to prevent the need for a higher level of care.
The purpose is to assist individuals in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational, employment and other services.
We at First Step work to optimize the lives of individuals who have complex needs by coordinating and linking them to treatment and other resources to assist in the development of their own natural support system.

Community- and School-Based Prevention

Drugs, alcohol-suicide and behavioral education.
Our evidence-based prevention programs are designed to target the youth population. We offer a variety of free classes that include topics regarding the prevention of drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, staying healthy, communication, social relationships, bullying and the influence that social media has on today’s generation. We offer four curriculums:
  • Too Good For Drugs (High School and Middle School)
  • Marijuana Download the Facts
  • Say It Straight
  • SPORT Wellness
The curriculums cover the following topics: Drugs and Alcohol, Social Skills/Relationships, Goal Setting, Decision Making, Healthy Living, Bullying, Media Messages, Peer Pressure/Self-Esteem Communication.
If you are interested in First Step providing prevention education to your after school or in-school program, please click here

Compeer Sarasota at First Step

941-953-0000, extension 5132
Mentoring program for children with mental health disorders.

Family Life Intervention (FLIP)

Family Life Intervention Program (FLIP) is an outreach program designed to improve the lives of at risk students ages 7 to 17 and their families. Students are referred by schools, community agencies, the court system, and their families.
A plan of action is developed that is appropriate for each individual and their family. The program combines the tutoring, mentoring, and social activities. Students and their family receive support to gain independence and self-sufficiency.
Finding help can be difficult… we coordinate all the services for you!
The program provides stability, positive peer interaction and mentoring

Psychiatric Services

Comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, medication prescription and monitoring are
provided by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).
Individuals are encouraged to participate in adjunct outpatient individual and/or group therapies for optimal treatment outcomes and well-being.


Our web based TeleHealth platform allows clients to schedule a face to face video session with our professionals from the comfort of their home, office or location of their choosing. All they need is an internet connection, and a computer or smart phone with camera.
Speak with your provider to see if you are eligible.
Telehealth is available to non-insured and Florida Medicaid clients. Commercial plans may also cover this service. This service is also available to our uninsured. Ask us about Telehealth benefits under your plan.
First Step is Now Providing Telehealth for Clients Ask Us About Telehealth Visits Today


These services include individual and family treatment for emotional, behavioral and/or substance abuse problems. Our professionals are trained in providing integrated treatment of co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders using best and promising practices that promote holistic health.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Sarasota 941-331-2530 or North Port 941-492-4300.

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Our Community Partners:

*Community partners are businesses that have chosen to support our organization as a community partner sponsor. If you are interested please click here for the sponsorship form.

Mental Health Partners: