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Policy council submits needs assessment

By By MATT JORDAN Reporter
The Children's Policy Council is a collaborative effort which is mandated by the Alabama Legislature. The state of Alabama requires every county to have such a council, and their responsibility is to assess the needs of children in the county and then formulate a strategy to meet those needs.
Individuals involved in Escambia County's council include Judge Dave Jordan, Chairman; Sheriff Grover Smith, Superintendent Lynn Smith and Superintendent Buck Powell.
The Policy Council must present the state with a nee's assessment for the children of Escambia County each year. Five needs such as health, safety, education, economic security and early care and education were presented to the state.
The council identified three critical priorities in these five areas and have developed strategies for the key needs.
Priority one states that Escambia County will have a reduction in the first grade retention rate.
Priority two is focused on at-risk children, to try and establish uniform research-based criteria for at-risk children, provide funding for a juvenile Court Liaison in every county and incorporate at-risk staffing into multi-needs operational and functional guidelines.
Priority three says that Escambia County will have adequate funding for all of the children's services in the county. The state CPC will develop and distribute media materials as well as educational materials about the Governor's tax plan to all county CPC's so a grass roots campaign can begin in each county.
The Escambia County council submitted its need's assessment to the state for 2003-2004 on July 1.