Voyaging Toward the Future
For all of us at The Children’s Trust, our conscience is our compass, which is why improving the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County is a directive that informs every decision we make and every partnership we forge. 2016 was no different.
From funding culturally sensitive programs that help parents keep their families strong to advocating for much-needed legislation, The Trust continued its commitment to the people we serve. And while the needs of our community evolved over the past year, the ways in which we met them did too.
We collaborated with other community stakeholders and leaders to leverage relationships, pool resources and work both harder and smarter, doing everything from revitalizing parks to helping facilitate access to health care for thousands of uninsured children.
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Because parenting programs have a proven track record of achieving significant results, we offered group and individual parenting activities to strengthen family foundations and will offer more of them in the coming year.
In a community with a high prevalence of children with special needs, we served 22,000 children and youth with disabilities within inclusive environments alongside their typically developing peers.
Because a third of our children arrive at kindergarten lacking the necessary skills to succeed in school, we continued to work with child care programs across Miami-Dade County to raise their educational standards and help instructors improve their credentials. Since our efforts in this arena began, 82 percent of teaching staff who previously did not have Florida credentials now do.
More than 30,000 children and youth benefitted from wide-ranging after-school, summer and enrichment programs that bolster academics; provide new experiences and opportunities for self-expression, and offer guidance along the challenging passage through adolescence.
We forged a historic collaboration with Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade County Public Schools to create paid summer internships that brought professional job training and employment to more than 1,400 teens.
In the face of unspeakable tragedy and loss we joined a coalition of government, law enforcement and educational institutions to form Together for Children to contribute toward a long-term strategy to reduce gun violence and save young lives.
We promoted the development of inventive new approaches to potentially groundbreaking services through our Innovation Fund.
We leveraged technology to better connect families to services.
We increased program and professional development efforts with the Accelerated Nonprofit Growth Forum, resulting in stronger, more sustainable organizations, and we launched a capacity-building initiative for small community-based organizations to improve their ability to provide quality services in our most challenged neighborhoods.
We are forever grateful to The Children’s Trust board of directors, staff, providers of social services, parents, advocates, community leaders and taxpayers for sharing this worthwhile journey with us to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. For more information about all that we do, please visit us at www.thechildrenstrust.org.
Laurie Weiss Nuell is board chair of the Children’s Trust. James R. Haj is the Trust’s president and CEO.