Council Update: Amid COVID-19 crisis, Council increases support to local providers
Recognizing the extraordinary pressures COVID-19 has placed on our community, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County’s board has taken additional steps to support local child care providers and nonprofits.
At its monthly meeting, the Council approved payments to child care providers through June 30, 2020 – regardless of whether the sites currently are serving children. The goal is to keep the invaluable child care infrastructure in tact so parents will have access to high-quality child care once our community reopens for business. The Council also will continue to provide local match funding to Head Start through Lutheran Services Florida, RCMA and PEPPI through June 30. The Council will not fund child care sites run by The School District of Palm Beach County or local municipalities.
The Council also approved increasing its support of the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund for local nonprofits by $250,000. The Council initially approved up to $500,000 in funding for nonprofits struggling to serve local families in need. In less than a month, the Council has awarded more than $345,000 of that money to about two dozen nonprofits. Staff reported the need is great and they continue to receive a significant number of applications on a daily basis. The majority of funding is helping to provide food, basic needs and direct services to local families, with the exception of shelter.
Children’s Services Council is one of nine local funders participating in the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund. The grant funding process is modeled after a hurricane-relief plan used in Palm Beach County since 2004. Using a single application form, nonprofits can request dollars from multiple funders, who work together to respond in their areas of service. The other partners are Admirals Cove Foundation, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Lost Tree Foundation, Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Foundation, Quantum Foundation and United Way of Palm Beach County.
In other business
The Council approved renewal of CSC’s contract with the state Department of Children & Families to jointly fund three Economic Self-Sufficiency Specialists (ACCESS). These positions are co-located within Healthy Beginning’s Entry Agencies (Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County and HomeSafe) and the Guatemalan Maya Center to streamline the process for families applying for Medicaid and other DCF assistance programs. The amount of the agreement, from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2022, is not exceed $200,000.
Mental Health Awareness:
The Council proclaimed May as Mental Health and Trauma-Informed Care Month. The Council recognized that one in four adults, and one in five children ages 13-18, experience serious mental illness. But the majority do not receive the necessary treatment because of limited knowledge, access, stigma or other barriers to care. Promoting mental health and wellness leads to higher overall productivity, better educational outcomes, lower crime rates, lower health care costs, improved family life and much more.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention:
The Council proclaimed May as Prevent Teen Pregnancy Month. The Council recognizes that while the overall teen birth rate in Palm Beach County remains lower than the state’s rate, the rate for African-American teen mothers remains higher than white teen mothers. Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born too early and too small, putting them at risk for life-long challenges.
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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