The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently recognized Alachua County’s Children’s Services Advisory Board (CSAB) with an Achievement Award. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. NACo honored award-winning counties at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition in Clark County, Nevada.
The CSAB was established by the County Commission on April 26, 2016, to make recommendations regarding programs impacting children prenatal to five years old. NACo recognized the impact of the work done by the members of the CSAB in evaluating the needs of the community and proposing initiatives to the County Commission that would benefit Alachua County’s families and children.
The CSAB recommended, and the County Commission approved funding for three initiatives:
* NewboRN Home Visiting Program
* Transformative Professional Development for Early Care and Education Providers
* Healthy Social and Emotional Development and Family Supports
The CSAB determined these innovative initiatives would help assure that all Alachua County children are ready for success when entering kindergarten. All three initiatives are under contract, in full operation with strong performances. The CSAB also recommended to the Commission that an Independent Children’s Service Council be formed. On February 27, 2018, at a Public Hearing, the County Commission adopted Ordinance 2018-08, putting the question regarding the establishment of the Children’s Trust of Alachua County on the general election ballot. The most telling measure of program success is that on November 6, 2018, over 61% of the Alachua County voters approved the creation of the Children’s Trust, which will build on the work of the CSAB for years to come.
NACo President Greg Cox said, “Counties implement innovative programs that enhance residents’ quality of life every day. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs demonstrate how counties build healthy, safe, and vibrant communities across America.”