As a high-performing organization, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County continually examines the best ways to analyze data and show results. A new Goals Dashboard, unveiled at Thursday’s Council meeting, is the latest tool to display how CSC is faring on long-term, high-level child outcomes.
The new dashboard tracks the following child wellness indicators:
- Percent of premature births, and percent of low birthweight births
- Percent of children (0-5) with verified findings of abuse or neglect
- Percent of children scoring ready on the state kindergarten readiness assessment
- Number of children enrolled in quality afterschool or summer programs
Staff told the Council that the dashboard answers the questions, “how is CSC doing over time?” and “how is CSC doing compared to others like CSC over time?” In general, the dashboard’s most recent data show improvements in the areas of birth outcomes, child abuse and neglect, and school readiness.
The council requested additional disaggregated data to see how race/ethnicity/gender and other demographic factors play a role in child outcomes. The council also asked for comparison data or benchmarks to help put the available information in context. Staff will share additional data at the Council’s Annual Planning Session in June.
The Council also heard presentations on Thursday from 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, which provides a 24-hour crisisline as well as resource and referral services, and ChildNet, a nonprofit that oversees foster care services in Palm Beach County.
In other business
Counseling Services: The Council approved an increase of up to $300,000 for counseling services provided by Center for Family Services (CFS), as both engagement and demand for services has increased. CFS’s Counseling for Parents and Young Children program currently is serving nearly three times the number of clients than during the same period in the last fiscal year. CFS’s current allocation for this counseling program is $400,000.
Expanded Learning Opportunities: The Council approved an increase in Prime Time Palm Beach County’s budget of up to $170,000 so Prime Time can offer Expanded Learning Opportunities to 114 summer camps sites. The sites are approved by the county’s Youth Services Department to serve children receiving summer camp scholarships. Expanded Learning Opportunities are subject-specific activities in the areas of arts, culture, literacy, academics, wellness, environmental education, technology that help promote youth development.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention: More than 600 Palm Beach County teens (15-19) gave birth in 2017, a continuing drop in the county’s teen birth rate and the lowest since at least 1995. The county also has seen a drop in births to teens who already have at least one child, often referred to as the repeat teen birth rate.
While the teen birth rate has dropped nearly 35 percent between 2011 and 2017, the vast majority of teens and adults agree that schools, medical providers, faith-based and community organizations should be doing more to prevent teen pregnancy. To raise awareness, Children’s Services Council’s board declared May as Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.
Being a teen mother, and being born to a teen mother, have lifelong implications. Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and at low birthweight. Only about half of teen mothers earn a high school diploma by age 22, compared to 90 percent of teen girls without children. Teen mothers also are more likely to live in poverty and depend on public assistance. And children born to teen parents are more likely to have lower school achievement, enter the child welfare and correctional systems, drop out of high school and become teen parents themselves.
Children’s Services Council, a local special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014, provides leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong.?To learn more, please visit?www.cscpbc.org.