Council Update: 3,600-plus PBC children enjoyed summer camp experiences, thanks to CSC and partners

Last summer, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and its partners invested more than $3.8 million in summer camp scholarships for 3,600-plus children – close to pre-pandemic levels, staff told the Council at its most recent board meeting.
Almost two-thirds of the children were between 5 and 10 years old; nearly 1,000 were 11 to 13; and 374 were 14 to 17. Families had a choice of camps that offered educational enrichment; camps that focused on a specialty (such as STEM, arts, sports or leadership); camps for children with special needs; and traditional camps. Children were eligible for scholarships based on their family’s income or if they were experiencing housing insecurity, involved in the juvenile justice or child welfare systems, had special needs or were members of a CSC-funded BRIDGES program.
Camps reported that staffing, inflation costs and transportation were some of their biggest challenges. 
This summer, the scholarship program will increase eligibility income guidelines to 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines ($55,500 annually for a family of four); require all camps to provide one hour of academics daily; look to expand opportunities for more children ages 14-17; track trends over time for specialized populations; and provide outreach events on Saturdays in partnership with local libraries.

In other business

Program Performance Assessments: CSC staff shared with council the outcome of the Annual Comprehensive Program Performance Assessment (CPPA) of funded programs. The assessment is one of several tools that:
•    Assesses the performance of individual programs based on established measures and targets.
•    Evaluates the extent to which programs are serving families effectively.
•    Identifies opportunities for improvement in meeting the needs of families in our community.
Of the 35 programs contracted to provide direct services to children and families: 31 received a high rating and four received a moderate rating for Program Fidelity (whether the program was implemented as intended); 29 received a high rating, four received a moderate rating and two received a low rating for Outcome Achievement (whether the programs achieved contracted outcomes). 
CSC staff found that while most providers were effective in achieving their targets, the lingering impact of the pandemic – which included factors beyond the organizations’ control – made it difficult for some to meet their goals. Those challenges included filling opening positions and retaining highly trained staff. 
Of the nine programs that support specific CSC strategies, and do not have direct client-level impact, eight received a high and one received a moderate rating for Program Fidelity.
Of the 21 other programs that serve a unique supporting role within CSC’s System of Care – such as managing funds, program support, funding collaboration and more – 15 met their contract requirements and six partially met their requirements.

EveryParent Moments: CSC Communications Division produced a series of one-minute radio spots, called EveryParent Moments, in response to the growing number of calls from concerned parents seeking help for their children’s behaviors. The spots currently are airing on 14 local radio stations and feature answers to questions that Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) therapists hear regularly. The spots can be heard on:
•    WPOM and WPBR (Creole)
•    WWRF, WLLY, WPSP, ESPN Deportes and WRLX (Spanish)
•    WRMF, WIRK, WEAT, WMBX, Party, WSWN and SupaJamz (English)

Summer Internship: For summer 2023, CSC has selected six college interns to work with staff in the areas of Communications, Finance, Information Management, Program (2) and Talent Management. This is the second year in a row that CSC has selected interns to work at the organization during the summer. The program allows the interns to gain valuable, real-world work experiences while providing CSC with fresh perspectives.

Oral History Project: About 100 residents attended the first community presentation in January of the Palm Beach County Virtual African American Oral History Project, with another 30 residents attending the second presentation in early February. The project was supported by CSC and the Palm Beach County School District. During the project, Palm Beach County teens interviewed community elders to hear life lessons and learn what it was like to attend school in the county decades ago. The high schoolers were mentored by college students. Dr. Alisha Winn, founder of Consider the Culture and an adjunct professor of applied cultural anthropology at Palm Beach Atlantic University, oversaw the project. There are two upcoming presentations: 11:30 a.m., Feb. 24, at the School District headquarters in West Palm Beach, and 4 p.m., March 11, at the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum in Delray Beach.

Healthy Workforce Designation™: CSC received a gold level Healthy Workforce Designation™ from Cigna, recognizing the organization’s healthy work culture. Every year, Cigna recognizes organizations for the difference they make in the health and well-being of their employees in areas such as program foundations and whole-person health.

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.

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