Robert Edelman: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:12 p.m.

Robert Edelman is CEO of Village Counseling Center, based in Gainesville, FL and which serves much of the North and Central East Coast of Florida. This agency which has been in existence for more than a decade provides clinical services to sexually abused children as well as children who have been placed in adoptive homes. This agency works closely with the Courts and the Department of Children and Families serving more than 2000 families a year. Over the years, Mr. Edelman has increased the scope of services to include those children in the Dependency Court system as well as those children in the Juvenile Justice system. Currently, the Village Counseling Center employees 14 mental health professionals and two support staff.


Category: Entrepreneurship

About Robert Edelman

Occupation: CEO

Years in Gainesville: 25

Spouse: Pebbles Edelman

Children: Sophie and Jude

The Village Counseling Center has a deservedly pristine reputation as a service provider, thanks to Mr. Edelman's leadership and the skills of his staff. However, Mr. Edelman does much more than run an effective agency. As an advocate for improved policy and services to these children, Mr. Edelman has made a positive impact well beyond the borders of his service array.

In 2008, seeing an increase in the incidence of child-on-child sexual abuse, Robert founded the Alachua County Child-on-Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force. This bought local leaders together to better understand and address the trend, resulting in improved awareness and practice and a decrease in the volume of child-on-child sexual abuse within local out-of-home placements. Furthermore, Mr. Edelman serves as an advisor, both within the State of Florida as well as nationally, to agencies seeking assistance in providing appropriate treament to emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children.

Mr. Edelman has traveled to other areas of the State of Florida to assist with the formation of additional task forces. He also met with state leaders to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse, and served on the Gabriel Meyers Task Force, lending his expertise to the review of the Meyers' case which involved egregious child abuse . Additionally, Robert presents at state and national conferences on this topic and in doing so both educates and inspires others to impact this critical issue.

Submitted by Linda Abeles, PhD

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