Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Children's Trust and House Bill 1227. Guest Blog by Child Advocate

House Bill 1227 requires that all of the Children's Services Councils (Children’s Trust included) to seek reauthorization from voters every six years. That would give the voters an opportunity to sunset the fund if the Trust doesn’t get back to the community basics.

As funding gets tighter for the community agencies, the Trust continues to develop their statistical research department. They are eliminating much needed services that do not fit into their bean-counting scheme. As a result, the Trust research department continues to focus on competing with research universities in the field of social science research, instead of being a funding source for true community based programming. This direction has taken on new life after the last election.

The Children’s Trust is urging their fans and funded agencies to call Tallahassee this week to speak AGAINST House Bill 1227. I agree, we should call but I think we should SUPPORT the bill. Children's Trust Advocacy Alert states the following examples of just a few reasons why this “unnecessary bill” (their words) attempts to fix a problem that does not exist:

* Local voters already approved the creation and reauthorization of our CSC, The Children's Trust, twice by large margins - in 2002 and again in 2008.

* Why single out only those special districts devoted to children for a referendum out of the more than 1,000 special districts in the state?

* We already have laws in place that allow for a referendum any time the county commission decides one is needed.

I believe the Children's Trust is methodically eliminating grass roots services agency by agency, moving towards the unannounced goal of bigger and fancier programs. If the community had wanted to have another United Way, it would have been much simpler to fund the existing United Way with the tax dollars instead of creating an entirely new empire. The Trust has lost the community-based services vision.

Unless this state legislative item passes, Miami-Dade County may never have another opportunity to retract the funding “in perpetuity” which The Children’s Trust now enjoys. The Trust is State funded and employees get State benefits.

I urge you to call Tallahassee this week, because the Children’s Trust, indeed any government agency, should not be funded without end, without accountability, with our tax dollars.

If you care to call Tallahassee to voice your opinion on the bill:

Please contact the bill sponsor, Committee Chair and the House Military and Local Affairs committee members.

Bill Sponsor: Debbie Mayfield, 850-488-0952,

Committee Chair: Dorothy Hukill, 850-488-6653,

House Military & Local Affairs Committee Members Contact Information

Dorothy Hukill, Chair


Chris Dorworth, Vice Chair


Ron Schultz 850-488-0805

Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. 850-487-2197

Juan C. Zapata 850-488-9550

John Wood 850-488-2721

Janet C. Long 850-488-6197

Janet Adkins 850-488-6920

Mack Bernard 850-488-8632

Keith Fitzgerald 850-488-7754

Evan Jenne 850-488-0245

Mark S. Pafford 850-488-0175

Ronald Renuart 850-488-0001

Charles E. Van Zant 850-488-0665


Anonymous said...

* Local voters already approved the creation and reauthorization of our CSC, The Children's Trust, twice by large margins - in 2002 and again in 2008

If they are doing the job, they would not have to worry about the outcome from going to a vote...

If they have issues with their programs and how they are treating the community (and funded agencies) then they should worry about going to a vote.

What comes 'round goes 'round.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying what has sorely needed to be said for years now! I am a professional grant writer and I can tell you that TCT grants are NOT designed for the use of most grassroots organizations. What overworked executive director (usually head of a very small and equally as overworked staff) is going to have the time, energy and patience it requires just to read the 76 pages of instruction that attend a TCT grant, let alone comply with their Byzantine reporting system? Since I first encountered one of these monsters six years ago, I have believed that lip service is paid to the smaller organizations while the real money goes to those groups with the sufficienct funding and bureaucracy to actually realize a benefit.

Mark Fisher said...

Good day.

This email is sent to formally gain your authorization for including
your blog about Miami in our region called The Blog Patrol at no charge.

This is the link:

Kindly inform me by return email if you approve.

Mark Fisher
TPI Network

Trust = large kingdom said...

I have used their accounting system. 10 million dollars of dysfunctional computer software.

Anon2: You are correct! There is no mom and pops that I know of that can afford to do the cpa based functions ($5000 annual audits). The Trust has monthly reports that most agencies need a statistical specialist on staff and that becomes another payroll issue.

They have gotten away from what I voted for years ago. I thought the trust would be funding the small agencies, the ones that were already in the community and doing the work... the people who knew the needs. Boy, was I snookered.

Anonymous said...

Everyone was more than snookered. The Trust is a scam and to this day I do not believe it passed honestly on the one will question their ethics or do audits.....for some reason David Lawrence has a monopoly on this entire Organization that is dirty, full of thieves, fake lobbyists, CEO's, etc.......I wish we could recall them, they do nothing but place ads on TV and give away pencils.....they talk the talk but it is totall 100% BS...I know as I still work there and I am ashamed to say so....

Anonymous said...

Instead of cutting all Miami Dade County Employee salaries, why doesnt the Children's Trust go completely under Miami Dade County instead of it being an umbrella, put our tax payers monies of over 20+ MILLION, MOVE THE SO-CALLED SERVICES THEY DONT HANDLE, and let the County totally take over, they already have the County Attorney on their staff........the employees have either been on probation, in jail for drugs, federal prison etc.....and this is an organization...its a sham with high paid loosers !!!!