Funding Priorities

The Children’s Services Council of Okeechobee County has set the following funding priorities for the request for proposal process:

 1) Program Service Area: Substance Abuse Prevention Problem: The council perceives a need to implement in the community substance abuse prevention programs for children and teens, as the prevalence of early exposure to substances poses a significant threat to their well-being. Recognizing the urgency of addressing substance abuse at its roots, the council is seeking proposals that focus on prevention strategies aimed at interrupting the cycle of initiation into substance use among children and teens.

Target: Programs that aim to intervene in the early stages of substance abuse and support the holistic well-being of children and teens will be acceptable for this priority.. Initiatives that include school-based prevention programs, community outreach campaigns, counseling services addressing underlying factors contributing to early substance exposure, and case-management programs for youth returning from substance abuse cessation facilities will be given priority. Additionally, crisis intervention programs that provide immediate support and resources for youth facing substance abuse-related challenges will be accepted, fostering a comprehensive and responsive approach to ensure the successful recovery and reintegration of youth into a healthy and drug-free future.

2) Program Service Area: Abuse/Neglect Prevention Problem: The council perceives a need for abuse and neglect prevention programs and seeks proposals aimed at bolstering preventative measures against childhood abuse and neglect. Priority will be given to programs fostering 6 collaborations among various stakeholders to implement proactive strategies that mitigate risks and ensure the safety and well-being of children.

 Target: Programs that encompass a comprehensive approach, integrating parenting education initiatives, enhanced child protective services, support for foster care systems, accessible day care facilities with trained staff, early identification protocols for at-risk children, and rapid crisis intervention strategies will be given priority. These programs should aim to create a protective network around children, empowering families with the knowledge and resources needed to prevent instances of abuse and neglect, and to swiftly intervene when necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of every child.

 3) Program Service Area: Cultural Diversity Awareness and Bullying Prevention: Problem: The council perceives a need to promote cultural awareness among children to decrease bullying behavior, acknowledging the concerning prevalence of both experiencing and perpetrating bullying in childhood. Recognizing the potential link between enhanced cultural understanding and reduced instances of bullying, the council is seeking proposals that address this issue comprehensively, fostering an environment where diversity is celebrated, and bullying is actively prevented.

Target: Programs that aim to intervene in childhood bullying by supporting initiatives that enhance cultural diversity awareness will be acceptable for this priority. This includes educational programs designed to teach children about different cultures, promoting empathy, understanding, and respect. Additionally, the program will incorporate anti-bullying strategies, providing resources and interventions to address both victims and perpetrators. By intertwining cultural diversity awareness with bullying prevention efforts, the program aims to create an environment that values differences, reduces prejudices, and ultimately decreases bullying behavior among children.

4) Program Service Area: Delinquency Prevention through Character Building Problem: The council perceives a need to promote character building encompassing the characteristics of Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, and Ethics (PRIDE) as a proactive measure to address the rising concern of delinquency among children. Recognizing the importance of instilling values such as Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, and Ethics, the council aims to fund initiatives that empower children to make responsible choices, reducing the risk of engaging in delinquent behavior.

Target: Programs that seeks to provide a holistic approach to delinquency prevention by offering a range of activities that contribute to the well-rounded development of children will be acceptable activities in this priority. This includes children’s sports activities to promote teamwork and discipline, tutoring to enhance academic achievement, counseling for emotional support, and family involvement to strengthen familial bonds. Moreover, a significant focus will be placed on character building initiatives, instilling PRIDE characteristics (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, and Ethics) in children to equip them with the values necessary for a positive and resilient future.

 5) Program Service Area: Children’s Health and Well-Being Problem: The council perceives a need to promote children’s health and well-being by addressing critical issues such as maternal health for unborn children, childhood obesity, poor food choices, lack of exercise, and teenage pregnancy. Recognizing these interconnected challenges, the council seeks proposals that holistically approach children’s health, aiming to intervene at various stages of development to establish a foundation for life-long well-being.

 Target: Programs that seek to intervene effectively in the identified challenges by supporting a range of initiatives will be acceptable activities in this priority.. This includes maternal health programs ensuring the well-being of unborn children, educational campaigns promoting healthy food choices and regular exercise, interventions to combat childhood obesity, and comprehensive strategies for teenage pregnancy prevention. By targeting these areas, the program aims to create a supportive environment that fosters life-long health habits, promoting the overall well-being of children from prenatal stages through adolescence.