Council Update: Council proclaims January as Mentoring Awareness Month

More than 5,000 children were matched with mentors in Palm Beach County through the United Way Mentor Center in fiscal year 2020-2021, including 1,901 children matched through 22 programs funded directly by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.
This is the highest number of matches in the Mentor Center’s history.
Of the 1,901 children in CSC-funded programs: 1,082 are girls, 801 are boys, 7 are non-binary and 11 are transgender. In addition, 1,123 are Black, 372 are white, 344 identified as other races.
The Mentor Center serves as the anchor of the Palm Beach County Mentor Network, a professional group of 55 formal mentor programs – five more than last year – working together to elevate mentoring in our community. 
CSC also is working with the Mentor Center to develop an Enhanced Mentoring Initiative for youth involved with, or at risk of being involved with, the juvenile justice or dependency systems. The initiative’s goal is to pair at least 225 youth with mentors in fiscal year 2021-2022.
Studies show that mentoring measurably improves the lives of children and families by increasing the rates of school attendance, substance use avoidance and violence reduction. Youth engaged in an active mentoring relationship are 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college and 52 percent less likely to skip a day of school.
In other business
GII Capacity Building Projects Update: In 2019, six Great Ideas Initiative awardees received two additional years of funding for capacity building in areas such as strategic planning, fund development, marketing and outreach, financial services, governance and leadership development, and more. Despite being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the six completed their final year and staff reported the results to the Council. The six organizations include: Digital Vibez; EJS Project; E-Roadmap; Girls on the Run; Spady Museum; Soil and Soul.
Healthy Beginnings Funding: In response to a minimum wage increase for state employees to $13 an hour, CSC staff requested that salaries for certain programs in CSC’s Healthy Beginnings system be increased to ensure fairness. Because of this, the Council approved salary increases for eight CSC-funded positions in three Department of Health – Palm Beach programs that receive CSC funding. Total funding will increase by $90,521. The Council also approved a funding increase for the Healthy Beginnings Data Entry Team, which will increase salaries for 10 positions. Total funding will increase by $191,938.
Resident-led Grant Making Update: In 2020, CSC partnered with Palm Health Foundation and Healthier Delray Beach to support resident-led grant making in the area of behavioral health. Residents living and working in “The Set,” a community in Delray, submitted and presented their ideas to a group of community residents. Members then voted on which projects they believed would have the greatest impact on improving behavioral health, overall. CSC’s investment of $15,000 supported eight programmatic efforts that focused on improving the lives of children and their families. Programs included: Angel Tree; Character Matters; First Aid Skills Fair; Girl’s Day; Heart Renewed; Kid’s Virtual Zumba Fitness; Rise: Building New Leaders for Tomorrow; and Social-Emotional Development for Youth.
Special Needs Equipment Fund Update: In the past 11 years, CSC had invested $1.15 million in the Special Needs Equipment Fund, which has allowed United Way of Palm Beach County to purchase 501 pieces of durable medical equipment – changing the living of 457 children with special needs. The Special Needs Equipment Fund acts as the payer of last resort for medically necessary equipment that enhance a child’s safety, mobility, communication, vision and/or other health needs. 

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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