The Children’s Agenda has released a report on the proposed 2010 Monroe County budget, saying it falls short on preventative investments.
The report, released Monday, finds that while the county has held the line on spending for children overall, children still face significant problems, including the highest number of reports of child abuse and maltreatment ever.
“Opportunities to expand proven, preventive programs have been overlooked," said Jeffrey Kaczorowski M.D., executive director of the Children’s Agenda. "We can stop the problems kids face before they start.”
The report notes that while there are significant accomplishments by the county that help children already experiencing distress, the budget falls short in investments in preventative programs. It singled out the Nurse-Family Partnership, a home-visitation program for at-risk families that is proven to reduce child abuse by 50 percent, and a youth program proven to decrease violence, Coping Power.
The county should use available state funds as well as $300,000 in local foster-care cost savings to expand the Nurse-Family Partnership to more families that need help, The Children’s Agenda officials said. The Children’s Agenda also called on the county to invest $100,000 in after-school programs that keep youth off the streets and to take steps to increase the quality and availability of early childhood education and care.
The budget is slated to be voted on Tuesday night.
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