ATTEND and SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

LIFE – Lee Interfaith for Empowerment Lee County, FL

NEHEMIAH ACTION
Tuesday, March 20th, 6:30pm

St. Columbkille Catholic
12171 Iona Road, Fort Myers
 

Civil Citations  
Ensure that all children who are eligible for a civil citation are issued one.  Florida has a Civil Citation program through which local law enforcement can divert youth to community based programs without giving them criminal records.  When police departments fully utilize this program, no children are unnecessarily arrested.  When children are arrested they get criminal records that make it difficult for them to get jobs, college scholarships, or to enter the military. 

Children’s Services Council

 A Lee County Children’s Services Council could generate over $30 million per year for investment in the well-being of Lee County’s children and their families.  8 other Florida counties have Children’s Services Councils (CSCs). Counties with Children’s Services Councils successfully invest in programs like Early Learning Programs, After School Programs, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Children’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Crime Prevention.  (More information http://flchildrenscouncil.org/ )

 

SUPPORT FUNDING FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Let the Lee Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) know you support adequate funding for programs that improve the well being of children and their families, including a Children’s Services Council for Lee County. 
 
Contact the County Commissioners* by telephone and email and attend BOCC meetings.

 

*Lee County Commissioners:
John Manning, District 1                    dist1@leegov.com   239-533-2224
Cecil Pendergrass, Chair BOCC, District 2   dist2@leegov.com   239-533-2227
Larry Kiker, District 3                     dist3@leegov.com   239-533-2223
Brian Hamman, District 4                    dist4@leegov.com   239-533-2226
Frank Mann, District 5                      dist5@legov.com    239-533-2225

Regular Lee County Commission Board meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Board Chambers in the Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St., downtown Fort Myers.  As shown on the county calendar http://www.leegov.com/bocc/Events the Lee County Commission will meet on 3/20, 4/3, 4/17, 5/1, 5/15. Agendas are posted at http://www.leegov.com/bocc/meetings/agendas/regular. Each BOCC Board meeting has an opportunity for public comment.

For more information email:social@lwvlee.org

 

Children’s Services Council

A Children’s Services Council (CSC) is a local government entity (under Florida Statute 125) established by county citizens. A Lee County Children’s Services Council could generate over $30 million per year for investment in the well-being of Lee County’s children and their families.  7 of the 9 Florida counties with the largest numbers of children have Children’s Services Councils (CSCs). Of these 9 counties, only Lee and Polk Counties do not have Children’s Services Councils. 

 

Counties with Children’s Services Councils successfully invest in programs like Early Learning Programs, After School Programs, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Children’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Crime Prevention.  (More information http://flchildrenscouncil.org/ )

With a Children’s Services Council, Lee County could increase its investment in Lee County’s children. Counties with Children’s Services Councils have significantly more resources to invest in programs like Early Learning Programs, After School Programs, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Children’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Crime Prevention.  They keep children safe and off the streets. They improve a child’s chances of becoming a successful adult. 

Indicators of unmet needs in Lee County, include:

  • 1 in 4 Lee County children live in poverty
  • Lee County’s Teen birthrates are higher than FL and the US at  6.8%
  • 13.5% of Lee County children are uninsured: 18% higher than the state
  • Only 31% of Lee County’s children are ready for Kindergarten
  • More than 43% of the 3rd graders score below FSA reading standards
  • Teen violent death rates in Lee County are 8 per 10,000 compared to FL at 3 per 10,000
  • Lee County Juvenile delinquency referrals are 42 per 1,000 compared  to FL at 37 per 1,000

Lee County’s population and needs are growing, however expenditures for essential human services programs remain relatively constant.

Lee County has opportunities to invest wisely in programs that ensure children are healthy, safe, prepared to learn and succeed in school and have viable life choices.  Evidence based research shows that Investment in programs for children has a return on investment of $7.00 for every $1.00 spent.

Lee County Commissioners have been considering how to address unmet Human Services needs.  Options available include: 

  1. Using existing Lee County funds to increase funding for effective, evidence  proven Human Services programs
  2. Establishing a dependent children’s services council or
  3. Moving toward establishment of an independent children’s services council by placing a referendum on the ballot in 2018.  A Lee County Children’s Services Council at .5 mil could generate over $30 million per year for investment in the well being of Lee County’s children and their families.