Boynton Beach – In an effort to eliminate the waitlist for summer camp scholarships, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County’s board on Thursday approved committing up to $500,000 in additional funds for the program, if needed.
The council originally contracted for $3.9 million with Friends of Youth Services, through Palm Beach County’s Youth Services Department, to provide 3,889 children with scholarships. CSC staff recently had been informed that an additional 149 are on the wait list for camp. To enroll the remaining children, Youth Services staff requested a commitment from the council to fund an additional $500,000, if needed.
CSC staff told the council they anticipate being able to accommodate the request, if it becomes necessary, within the existing budget through the use of under-expenditures.
In other business
CSC Goals Dashboard: Staff presented the council with annual data on CSC’s four child well-being indicators to see how CSC is doing over time. Those indicators focus on birth outcomes, child abuse and neglect, kindergarten readiness and the number of children enrolled in quality afterschool or summer programs.
In Fiscal Year 2018, among children in CSC-funded programs: 9.5 percent were born low birthweight (weighing less than 5 ½ pounds), 9.6 percent were born preterm (before 37 weeks gestation), 2.4 percent (ages 0-5) had verified findings of abuse/neglect; about 50 percent were deemed ready for kindergarten; 19,270 had access to quality afterschool and summer programs.
Staff noted that racial disparities among child outcomes persist, prompting them to consider new and different ways to evaluate data, assess root cause and bring about long-term change.
Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Care: The council proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Care Month. One in four adults, and one in five youth ages 13-18, experience serious mental illness. Yet research shows that 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth don’t receive the treatment they need because of limited access to – or knowledge of – care options, as well as fear and shame. The council proclaimed the awareness day to shine a light on the importance of mental health and well-being, and increase understanding of the long-term impact of trauma.
About Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
The Council is a local, special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014. For more than 30 years, it has provided leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong.
To contact Shana Cooper, Public Information Officer by email, please click here or call 561.374.7570.