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Leon County holds first Children's Services Council meeting

Posted at 11:11 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 23:11:13-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — On Thursday, ten council members were sworn in after 66-percent of voters in Leon County said they wanted the Children's Services Council.

Members taking an oath to protect and advance the needs of children in Leon County.

A property tax increase is paying for it.

"I think for this committee maximum transparency is essential," said Emily Fritz.

Members of the community are looking for the council to make the best decisions in the interest of kids.

Thursday, the planning committee established three main areas of focus; Early learning, development, and preventative services.

"From their educational standpoint looking at their homes their home environment and looking holistically at all the needs of our children," said County Commissioner Carolyn Cummings looking to dive deeper.

Focusing on, "Our disadvantaged children," Cummings said.

Councilmember Liza McFadden has worked with Children Services Councils before working with the Barbara Bush Foundation.

"Whether that means having nurse family practitioners go into the homes and work with families from health and literacy perspectives. Whether that's the need assessment that will be done to really figure out what are the gaps in our community," said McFadden.

The community suggested bringing in kids themselves to help.

"To have a youth advisory council or an ad hoc youth member on the council," said Eric Whitehead.

As members find problems they will recommend policy changes to the county commission.

"When I've seen what other groups throughout the state have done by working with children as young as two or three years old. That long-term impact is amazing I hope we can do the same in Tallahassee," McFadden says.

Hoping to make the best decisions for the children in Leon County.

Property taxes are expected to increase around October due to the council.

The next meeting is on May 19 at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

Leon County is the tenth county in the state to enact a CSC.