Council Update: CSC funds eight local nonprofits to support community-identified needs

In an effort to enhance services driven by community needs, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County has entered into agreements with eight local nonprofits as part of its Community Driven Innovation Services (CDI) Funding. 
This unique funding opportunity aims to support programs and services that local communities determine they want and need – and to do it in a more effective, equitable and sustainable way. The Request for Proposal, released in January 2021, targeted organizations with operating budgets of $1 million or less. CSC staff worked with external partners and community members to create a process that would be inviting to organizations that may not have had experience applying for CSC funding. 
Twenty-one organizations submitted proposals and 20 of those made it to the review process. Pending successful completion of the planning agreements, the following organizations will be awarded funding for fiscal year 2021-22:
•    Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization, Inc.
•    Boldin Community Impact, Inc.
•    Delray Beach Children’s Garden, Inc.
•    4Knowledge is Power, Inc.
•    Soil and Soul, Inc.
•    The Children’s Healing Institute
•    Jump for Joi, Inc.
•    Esperanza Community Center, Inc.
Contracts will run for one year and may be renewed for two additional years. The annual cost of an individual program in the initial year will not exceed $50,000.

In other business

COVID-19 Relief: The Council approved a resolution providing $75,000 to United Way of Palm Beach County to support the Help the Helpers project. The project offers wellness benefits – such as self-care and mindfulness training, employee assistance services, gift cards and other supports – to the staff of local nonprofits to address burnout. Those eligible to apply include all CSC-funded nonprofit providers and prior Great Ideas Initiative awardees.

Food Bank: The Council approved increasing the amount CSC provides The Palm Beach County Food Bank for the Benefits Outreach Program by $21,605 for this fiscal year, and annualized for subsequent years, subject to the Council’s budget and TRIM process.

Mentoring Engagement Program: The Council approved waiving the procurement process and authorizing CSC’s CEO to enter into agreements to support the Enhanced Mentoring Engagement Program for Juvenile Justice and Dependency Involved Youth. The program will serve 225 youth and provide them supports to gain better access to community resources, enhance social and emotional well-being, further educational achievement and reduce recidivism. In the first year, CSC will contract with United Way of Palm Beach County for $50,000 for planning purposes. This program is anticipated to be a joint funding partnership between CSC and the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department, contingent upon the approval of the Board of County Commissioners. 

A Book for EveryChild: The Council approved CSC entering into agreements with four book distributors (in addition to Scholastic Inc., with which CSC already has an agreement) to provide books to children in Palm Beach County to prevent the summer learning slide. The four additional book distributors include: A to Z Books; Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc.; Interstate Books4School; and Pyramid Books. The agreements in total are not to exceed $420,000, subject to the Council’s budget and TRIM process. 

Mental Health Awareness: The Council declared May as Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Care Month, recognizing that one in four adults, and one in five youth ages 13-18, experience serious mental illness. Yet 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth don’t receive treatment for their mental health needs due to limited or no knowledge of the need, barriers to care, or fear and shame.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention: The Council also declared May as The National Month to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. In 2020 in Palm Beach County, there were 505 births to teen mothers (ages 15-19), the fewest in six years. The overall teen birth rate of 12.9 in Palm Beach County remains lower than the state rate of 14.9. The rate for birth to Black teen mothers, at 15.4, remains higher than the rate for White teen mothers, at 12.5. Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born premature and have a lower birthweight. Only about half of teen mothers earn a high school diploma by age 22, compared to 90 percent of teens without children. The issue of teen births is closely linked to a number of critical social issues such as poverty, lower educational attainment, and involvement in the criminal justice and child welfare system. 


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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