Council Update: More Palm Beach County babies born too early, too small

The percent of Palm Beach County women who gave birth prematurely increased in 2019 in all racial and ethnic groups except white, non-Hispanic women. The total percent for all premature births in the county grew from 9.7 in 2018 to 10.5 in 2019. 

The percent increased statewide during the same time period, as well, from 10.2 to 10.6. 

When babies are born too early and too small, they are at risk for life-long health complications that can impact their growth, development, social-emotional health and academic success. And, on average, medical costs for a premature baby are nearly $50,000, 12 times more than a full-term baby. 

This is why the board of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County proclaimed November as Prematurity Awareness Month at its most recent meeting. And this is why Children’s Services Council continues to fund programs that help women – particularly women of color – receive early access to prenatal care and community support.  

“As an organization, we continue to study the root causes of premature birth, and develop programs and services to address them, so we can ensure that all babies have the opportunity to grow up healthy, safe and strong,” says Dr. Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of Children’s Services Council.  

In other business 

COVID Relief Update: The Palm Beach County 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. More than $1.1 million of that funding has come from Children’s Services Council, which has focused on helping organizations distribute food and other essential supplies, as well as expanded services and counseling.  

Racial and Ethnic Equity: Children’s Services Council has created a Core Team of nine employees who will oversee implementation of CSC Racial and Ethnic Equity Action Plan. The Core Team is responsible for the execution and evolution of the plan, as well as for operationalizing the plan by: prioritizing, sequencing and assigning the work; identifying gaps; and ensuring sustainability.  

The Council also held its first Racial and Ethnic Equity Workshop in October with the board, to begin to better understand – and eradicate – the impact racial inequity has on child outcomes.  

Pacesetter Award: the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recognized CSC with a sixth Pacesetter Honor for its work in summer camps and afterschool programs. CSC also was honored as a “Bright Spot” for its work with the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago, HomeSafe and St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach. The GLR campaign in July had recognized CSC with Pacesetters in five other categories.  

Well Being Award: The Council was awarded Cigna’s 2020 Outstanding Culture of Well Being Award for having a well-established, progressive employee well-being and engagement program.  

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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