The Children’s Services Council Planning Committee will review a report on recommendations for the proposed Children’s Services Council of Leon County at its November 8th meeting. The report includes the organization’s vision, mission, goals, and priorities as determined by the Planning Committee.
The meeting will be held at the Tallahassee Community College Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education located at 1528 Surgeons Drive from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.
If approved in 2020 by Leon County voters, the Children’s Services Council (CSC) will be funded by a property tax that could generate approximately $8 million specifically dedicated to services needed for the welfare of children in the county.
As stated in the report, the vision of the CSC is that “all children in Leon County enter school ready to learn, are successful in school, and become productive citizens.”
The CSC’s mission is to strategically support “evidence-based programs and services to improve the safety, health, and security of Leon County’s children and families.”
To identify priorities for the CSC, the Planning Committee started by assessing community needs, particularly needs that are unmet by existing programs. As noted in the report, in January 2019, the Committee reviewed County rankings as well as poll results on Leon County residents’ impressions of needs.
Throughout 2019, the Committee discussed the data, took input from community organizations, and reviewed draft priorities and goals.
The Committee then pinpointed three priority areas: “success in school and life,” “healthy children and families,” and “stable and nurturing families and communities.”
A key metric for “success in school and life” is the percentage of childcare programs designated as Gold Seal. The Gold Seal Quality Care program acknowledges child care facilities and family day care homes that have gone above the required minimum licensing standards and reflect quality in the level of care and supervision provided to children.
Approximately 12% of Leon County’s childcare programs are Gold Seal, compared with a state average of 28%.
According to the report, the goals in this priority area are increasing school readiness and decreasing juvenile crime.
In the second priority area, “healthy children and families,” the CSC’s main goals are enhancing both physical and mental health, including improving infant health and increasing mental resilience in children.
In the third priority area, “stable and nurturing families and communities,” goals are lowering arrest rates through job training and lowering food insecurity.
According to the report, Leon County’s food insecurity rate is 21.1%, compared to a 13.9% state average. To lower this rate, the CSC plans to provide year-round access to food to children in Leon County.
If the CSC is approved by Leon County voters in 2020, it will be guided by these recommended goals and priorities. The Planning Committee will take public input on the draft report at the November 8th meeting .