Since his election to the circuit court bench of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Judge John Bowman has spearheaded numerous community-wide efforts to transform the area’s Juvenile Dependency division. In this capacity, Judge John Bowman served as the judicial representative on the board of the Broward County One Community Partnership.
A number of local leaders from Broward County spearheaded efforts to create the One Community Partnership in response to a growing need for reformed children’s mental health care services. At the time that the partnership began, over 400,000 children lived in the county, with a tenth of them experiencing some form of serious emotional disturbance (SED). Broward County had previously implemented a centralized system of SED cases but the local Board of County Commissioners initiated a more comprehensive reevaluation plan in 2002. After receiving an $8 million System of Care grant from the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and their Families, the plan soon took form as the One Community Partnership.
Over the next six years, the partnership focused its work on creating a new system of care that would best serve children with SED who are between the ages of 10 and 18. Among its many goals, One Community Partnership aimed to enhance the emotional health services for children and families, bring more cultural diversity to the system, and increase the number of services available to children with different needs.