By Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs resident Paul Smith was recently named chair of the Children’s Harbor board of directors.
Located in Pembroke Pines, Children’s Harbor provides nurturing, family group homes for 24 siblings and seven pregnant/parenting teens in the foster care system on its eight-acre campus, where brothers and sisters and teen mothers and their babies stay together during a turbulent time in their young lives.
“I am honored to lead this board as we move into a new year,” said Smith, a board member since 2017, and most recently vice-chair.
“It would be an understatement to say that 2020 was a challenging year, particularly for non-profits that serve children and families in need. But COVID has not prevented us from continuing our mission of providing a safe harbor and support to at-risk children, youth, and families. We keep brothers and sisters together, strengthen families, and guide youth toward independence.”
Children’s Harbor also helps prevent child abuse through the Family Strengthening Program, and each year 200 families across Broward County receive in-home counseling to improve parenting and communication skills.
Along with his wife, Smith is a six-year resident of the Oakbrook/Hidden Hammocks community and said the best thing about living in Coral Springs is the location relative to everything else. They have three adult children.
Smith also works with Sunshine Health, where he is director of operations for child welfare programs. Smith first became aware of the challenges faced by children in foster care while serving at a summer camp for foster children in the Seattle area.
When he had the opportunity to move to Florida and become more directly involved in helping these children, he was intrigued and motivated to make a difference. Smith was introduced to Children’s Harbor during his second year at Sunshine Health.
“Paul has been a tremendous asset from the first day he became involved with us,” said Tiffani Dhooge, president and CEO of Children’s Harbor. “We benefit from his experience, insights, and vision and look forward to his leadership as board chair.”
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