Create a CSC
Starting a Children’s Service Council
Creating a Children’s Service Council does not happen overnight. A county interested in starting one should first document local needs and build community support. When seeking to create a new Children’s Services Council, it is essential to demonstrate that investments of taxpayer dollars will yield measurable returns. Those returns come in the shape of improving the lives of children and their families, as well as improving the community as a whole. Early investments in children also translate into greater savings down the road. Crime rates decline. Reliance on more costly, state-funded programs and services is reduced. More children get the healthcare they need.
Communities that want to establish an independent Children’s Services Council must first gain support from its county commissioners to pass a local ordinance. After that, the county commission must agree to place the issue on the local ballot for voter approval. For a dependent Children’s Services Council, the community must convince its county commissioners to create one, which they can then do by local ordinance. The formula for success depends on the needs and desire of the community.
Considerations for Creating a Children’s Services Council – Initial Steps:
- Conduct a needs assessment documenting specific issues and trends affecting children in your local area.
- Identify champions outside typical children and family advocacy circles. Consider reaching out to local business, workforce, health and education leaders.
- Determine the level of support among county commissioners.
- Determine if similar initiatives have been successful (or not) in your county. Why or why not?
- Gauge public support and awareness.
The Florida Children’s Council offers technical assistance to those interested in leading a local effort.