The Children’s Trust staff and board of directors are dedicated to funding evidenced-based programs that achieve positive outcomes for children and families in our community and deliver a robust return on investment. As a government agency, we are committed to transparent, public and competitive solicitations processes awarding a variety of grants that balance long-term ambitions with short-term needs, to agencies proposing high-quality programs as outlined in our strategic plan. Watch the following video to learn more:
Our strategic plan is grounded in the following four foundations: social, educational, economic and environmental. Although no single program or organization can secure these foundations on its own, funding direct services is the centerpiece of our investment strategy, because children need resources and support to develop, grow healthy and contribute to the local economy. Therefore, our budget is allocated among the following priority investments:
Because nothing can fully prepare you to raise a child, we want to be your partner in parenting by offering tailor-made programs for every parent. Trained educators, who may be family coaches, social workers or nurses, provide the support you’ll need to help you prepare your child for lifelong success. Help is available for FREE in different settings: one-on-one in your home; in group or community settings; and in individual offices. These programs help you improve communication with your children; identify developmental challenges or issues; offer creative and effective disciplinary approaches; and promote good health and nutrition. Find the program that’s right for you here.
- Early Childhood Development
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are the most critical, which is why programs in this area are intended to foster social, behavioral and academic skills, offering screenings and crucial early intervention services for children identified with developmental or behavioral issues.
Our early intervention portfolio includes supporting specialized psycho-educational autism assessments, short-term intervention for children who don’t meet the criteria to receive state-funded services, and summer programming for children ages birth to 5 with developmental disabilities who receive school-year services.
Our Read to Learn initiative was formed in response to research showing that early reading experiences, opportunities to build vocabulary and literacy-rich environments are the most effective ways to support the development of prereading and cognitive skills, so children are reading at or above grade level by third grade. Get a head start by registering your child for the FREE Read to Learn Book Club, for all children age 3.
Because the majority of young children are in some form of outside care, an early learning quality improvement system was developed as a means to elevate the quality of child care in Miami-Dade County by working together with programs and their staff to achieve high standards.
- Youth Development
Providing children and youth with safe spaces outside of school where they can thrive is a priority of The Children’s Trust. Help with homework, reading, focused tutoring and fun activities are just part of a much bigger picture. After-school programs and summer camps offer children opportunities to strengthen life skills, learn about nutrition, make friends, and discover and cultivate new interests.
Teenagers benefit from vocational training and college prep, arts education, sports, mentoring, paid internships and leadership training through our Youth Advisory Committee. More than 25,000 children and youth are being served at more than 1,000 program sites. For parents, they’re trusted havens that contribute to raising healthy, happy and successful kids. Search programs or learn about our FREE Programs Guide app here.
- Health & Wellness
The drive for academic achievement can often overshadow a child’s health and wellness, yet research shows that student health ultimately impacts learning and behavior.
This is why we invest in comprehensive school-based health care that offers medical assessments, diagnosis, treatment, immunizations, counseling and referrals, as well as oral health and vision screenings, in addition to injury prevention education and insurance enrollment support.
- Family & Neighborhood Supports
When your family is in crisis, being able to go to a single source for all the help you and your children need can be a lifesaver. The family and neighborhood support partnerships we fund are that single source. Anchored by community-based organizations that understand the needs of the people in their own neighborhoods, these centralized services coordinate care for residents in our most challenged areas, where crime, poverty, unemployment, truancy, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect are most prevalent.
Funding programs and services go a long way, but facilitating change from the inside out spurs residents and local agencies to develop and act upon solutions that solve unique neighborhood challenges. The Children’s Trust community engagement team was formed precisely to help make that happen.
- Community Awareness & Advocacy
Explaining issues and disseminating knowledge so people can make their own informed decisions to help their family or take action on behalf of their children or community is why The Children’s Trust invests in public awareness and advocacy efforts.
A variety of multilingual and culturally sensitive approaches are used, from the broadest to the most personal.
- Program & Professional Development
By investing in program and professional development, The Children’s Trust is investing in children and families.
Increasing the competency and effectiveness of programs and their staff leads to greater efficiencies, productivity, effectiveness and the delivery of higher-quality programming that results in a greater return on our investments.
Training opportunities help program staff build confidence in the work they do, which helps them build credibility as they continue to gain new skill sets and adopt new ideas and perspectives.
The Children’s Trust regularly provides supports for quality program implementation and evaluation, as well as fiscal and administrative functions.
Click here for more resources for Trust-funded programs.
- Special Populations
The Children’s Trust has never wavered in its sustained commitment to supporting and advancing children with special needs. As we define special needs, the scope of our commitment includes both children with disabilities and those who are otherwise regularly identified as belonging to special populations, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth; children in foster care; youth under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system; children with incarcerated parents; and those who are homeless. Accordingly, it is our policy and practice to ensure that special populations are always welcomed into our funded programs, and that they are served effectively and with dignity.