Council Update: Group prenatal care effective for mothers, babies

CenteringPregnancy®, an evidence-based group prenatal care program brought to Palm Beach County by Children’s Services Council, recently was recognized by the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The CenteringPregnancy® model has been found to improve birth outcomes, support healthy parent-child interactions, and increase prenatal behaviors that lead to positive life outcomes for children. In Palm Beach County, CenteringPregnancy® is funded by CSC and provided by Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County (HMHB). HMHB leads two of the six Centering groups in Florida.

In other business

COVID Relief Update: A revised funding application for Palm Beach County COVID-19 Relief and Recovery process is expected to be released after the start of 2021. While funders are discussing what revisions are needed to the application, CSC staff recommends keeping the same priorities/limitations on our COVID-19 funding for fiscal year 2020-2021. 

Up to this point, the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery funding process, which includes 10 local funders working together to help nonprofits during this unprecedented time, has received more than 550 applications requesting in excess of $29 million in aid. Together, the funders have provided more than $7 million to local nonprofits. CSC has provided more than $1.1 million in funding for COVID-19 needs, including helping organizations distribute food and other essential supplies, as well as expanding services and counseling.  

Insurance Agent/Broker RFP: The Council approved a five-year contract with The Beacon Group, Inc., as CSC’s Agent/Broker of Record for Property, Casualty and Related Insurances. Despite an effort to procure with an equity lens – which included expanded advertising outreach to Hispanic and Black chambers of commerce, additional newspapers and local radio stations – no minority business enterprises submitted a proposal. The renewed contract with Beacon, the current broker, will be commission-based. 

Racial and Ethnic Equity (REE) Update: CSC staff held a second workshop with the Council to advance racial equity. The workshop focused on answering the question: “Why lead with race?” The workshop also addressed additional terms to advance the discussion around the importance of shared language. Staff will work with the Council to determine the topics to be covered at future REE workshops.  

In addition, as we continue to advance the conversation around racial equity, CSC’s Communications Division partnered with experts at the county’s Youth Services Department to develop a series of blogs on how to talk with children about race and racism. The blogs have been published on the website and also can be found in the EveryParent app. Along with the blogs, families can find a list of definitions and helpful resources, including a list of applicable books from the Palm Beach County Library System. 

Special Needs Equipment Fund: An analysis of CSC’s Special Needs Equipment Fund finds that during the past 10 years, the fund has purchased equipment for 426 children – spending slightly more than $1 million. Nearly half of the items purchased were for mobility purposes; and more than half of the children who received equipment were under age 10. 

The Special Needs Equipment Fund, which is supported by CSC and administered by United Way of Palm Beach County, purchases durable medical equipment for children birth to 17 with special needs who live in Palm Beach County. This is a fund of last resort intended to fill gaps in the current service system for equipment purchases. 

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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