Overview

Florida Children’s Council

The Florida Children’s Council (Council) is a non-profit organization leading businesses, agencies and other key stakeholders in work efforts that support Florida’s children, youth and families. The Council serves as the statewide umbrella organization for the Children’s Services Councils. By engaging and enhancing the collective strengths of individual Children’s Services Councils, the Council promotes statewide policies that build effective prevention and early intervention systems of supports for Florida’s children and families. With intentional focus on collective impact and evidence-based strategies, the Council coordinates resources and system development activities to enhance Florida’s collective efforts and ensure children are healthy, learned and prepared for a successful future. The Council compliments the work of community Children’s Services Councils by focusing on state-level system development strategies on a prenatal to career spectrum with recognition that more effective systems and policies increase the abilities of communities to maximize resources and make strategic investments support better outcomes for children and families.

The Council is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of member Children’s Services Council’s Chief Executive Officers. The Executive Board is charged with creating and implementing a strategic plan by directing the Council’s CEO. Officers of the Executive Board include the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary who serve two-year terms.

Children’s Services Councils

Creating a local Children’s Services Council begins with the vision and commitment of the county’s citizens. It is through the efforts of local citizens that the creation of a Children’s Services Council is written on a ballot for all county citizens to cast their vote or created by County Commissioners. Once approved by voters or the County Commission, a Children’s Services Council is officially created through a local ordinance.

A Children’s Services Council oversees funding for programs and services that improve the lives of children and their families. Chapter 125 of Florida Statutes (passed in 1986) governs the creation and operation of a Children’s Services Council, commonly referred to as a CSC. Florida is the only state in the nation that empowers communities to create a local government with the sole purpose of investing in the well-being of families.

A Message from Our Chair

Florida’s future is dependent on the delicate balance between the health of its natural resources, the vitality of its economy and the well-being of its residents.

Each year, lawmakers face challenging decisions in directing resources towards programs and services aimed at improving the environment, the economy and the lives of individuals and families that call Florida home. To this end, the Florida Children’s Council serves as a leading voice in advocating for the future of our youngest residents, our children.

The Florida Children’s Council works year round to help educate and inform lawmakers on the importance of investing early in the lives of children. We know from research that the sooner a child is given the opportunity to thrive, the more everyone benefits from their successes. These successes include arriving at kindergarten ready to learn, being raised in safe and supportive communities, having access to quality afterschool programs, and being given the tools to grow into productive, healthy adults. We also know that in order to ensure these positive outcomes for all of our children, worthy investments must be made.

With more than four million children and youth calling Florida home, the Council targets its messaging and data to meet the range of needs that impact the lives of children, youth and their families. We work tirelessly along with our partners to ensure a policy agenda for children is not only recognized, but embraced. We believe that it is everyone’s interest for all children to have the chance to be successful and to grow up strong, safe, and healthy.

-Cindy Arenberg Seltzer