How We Work
Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County’s Early Childhood System of Care is designed with the big picture in mind – to create a seamless way to improve birth outcomes, reduce child abuse and neglect and prepare young children for school. The ultimate goal is that all our children grow up healthy, safe and strong and become successful, productive members of our community.
Funding 33 Agencies, 55 Programs
We do this by funding 33 nonprofit and other agencies in Palm Beach County, which then provide a range of 55 services to families in our community – from maternal health, screening and nutrition services to programs for teens.
The majority of our funded programs are either evidence-based or promising – meaning they’ve been proven over time to make a difference in the lives of children and families. These programs are monitored regularly to ensure they’re reaching their goals.
Helping More Than 154,000 Children & Families
From pregnancy to the teen years, raising healthy, safe and strong children is difficult for any family. We’re here to help. We fund programs and services for pregnant women, families with infants and children under 6 – as well as afterschool services for school-age children and special programs for teens.
Within our System of Care, the Healthy Beginnings System offers universal screening of pregnant women and newborns to identify those who may be at risk of a poor birth outcome because of poverty, limited access to health care, poor nutrition, substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence and other challenges. Once screened, the Council’s entry agency assesses families and helps them navigate, and receive, the prevention or early intervention services that specifically fit their needs. Families may be referred to one of more than thirty programs.
Also within the system, the Council’s entry agency offers universal screening and assessment of children younger than 6 to help families access health insurance or a doctor. The entry agency also determines whether the child is reaching vital social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and physical milestones. The goal is to improve early child development outcomes so more children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.
Based on the assessment, children may be linked with programs that work with families to address any developmental vulnerabilities.
About 41,500 children attend more than 220 early childhood education programs and 108 afterschool programs that participate in Children’s Services Council’s quality child care and afterschool networks.
Our Strong Minds early child care network is designed to: improve children’s school readiness through stronger teacher-child relationships; provide more children with access to quality care through Council-funded scholarships; connect families to our overarching early childhood System of Care; and contain costs – all while focusing on program efficiency. For a list of participating Strong Minds child care sites, please click here.
Another 160 afterschool programs receive educational enhancements, including art and science programming, funded by Children’s Services Council. For a list of participating afterschool sites, please click here.
BRIDGES are neighborhood hubs, in 10 historically challenged communities across Palm Beach County, that offer supports and activities that help parents raise their children to be healthy, safe and strong. BRIDGES empower parents by giving them information, support and a sense of community while encouraging positive parent-child interaction. Each BRIDGES is unique, offering programs and services that meet the needs of its particular community. To learn more about BRIDGES, or find one near you, click here.