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Leon's Children's Services Council is hosting sessions to get more information on community needs

pre-school kids sitting on the floor with their hands raised in the air

The Children’s Services Council is holding a series of listening sessions across  Leon County starting next week. The council wants to get a better idea of community needs, mainly what people really want when they ask for things like family support services.

CSC Director Ceka Rose Green notes there can be a lot of interpretation when it comes to the idea of “family support.” What that means to individual people can vary.

“It could be the need for mental health services, it could be the need for respite services, particularly for older parents raising grandchildren, nieces and nephews… it could be parenting classes," she said.

To get a better handle on the specific needs, the Children’s Services Council is hosting its sessions at Sabal Palm Elementary School, and the Jack McClean and Lake Jackson Community centers. The locations were chosen based on where the Council saw the greatest need for services in its early assessments.

“We’re particularly trying to target the people living in and around those locations because we want to hear what they need in those locations. Most likely, we’ll be looking at programming that targets being able to go into those locations where the need is the most,” said Green.

The upcoming listening sessions will inform the council’s approach to awarding grant funding in the fall as it continues to find its footing. It was created through a local referendum in 2020 and is funded through an additional tax. It has a stated goal of improving the well-being of kids in Leon County.

The council’s primary focus areas are pre-and-post natal care, high quality early childhood learning, and family support services. It awards grants to local organizations that are doing work in those areas.

Dates, times and locations are as follows:

  • Thursday, January 26, Sabal Palm Elementary, 813 Ridgeway Street, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 31, Jack McLean Community Center, 700 E. Paul Russell Road, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 1, Lake Jackson Community Center, 3840 N. Monroe Street, Unit 301, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories here.