Study Commission on Children and Youth Kicks Off
Special Report - September 11, 2008
The Joint Study Commission on Children and Youth kicked off its opening meeting on September 10, 2008 to study the issues plaguing children and youth in North Carolina. The 27-member committee is co-chaired by Representative Alice Bordsen (D-Alamance) and Senator Eleanor Kinnaird (D-Orange, Person) and is made up of State House and Senate members, other public officials, and members of the public.
The first meeting featured presentations by the Director of the Division of Child Development, Cyndie Bennett, the Executive Director of the Public School Forum, John Dornan, and leaders of three innovative programs located throughout the State. The presentations focused on preschool child care and after school programs for disadvantaged and high-risk children and on programs designed for foster children and juvenile offenders. The theme for the first meeting was coordination of services and funding among public agencies (state and federal) and private non-profits for disadvantaged and at-risk children.
The study commission will be meeting over the next several months to forge a set of legislative recommendations before the General Assembly resumes in January 2008. The next two meetings will be public hearings to solicit input from the public. Those wishing to offer input to the Commission can attend the public hearing on September 24 at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Civic Center located at Vance-Granville Community College.
North Carolina Family Policy Council attorney Tami Fitzgerald who attended the meeting commented, “While government can help to meet the needs of disadvantaged and at-risk children, it cannot replace the important role that parents play in a child’s life. Hopefully, the Commission will address the larger question of how the State can foster and encourage the role of parents in growing mature, educated, responsible youths and examine whether there are some State programs that impede progress in these areas.”
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