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Public Policy Principles for the Future
of Solano Children's Services

(Adopted by the Solano County Board of Supervisors on January 12, 1999)

Children

  • In redesigning social service systems and in endeavoring to increase adult accountability the first priority must be protecting children from harm.
  • The needs of children and families must take precedence over the needs or convenience of the agencies and institutions designed to serve them.
  • All children must get the basic level of support they need to grow up healthy, including protection from physical and psychological risks posed by their environment.
  • All children deserve a fair chance to achieve their potential with the support of their family.
  • Children’s exposure to violence must be reduced - in the media, on our streets, in our schools and in our homes.
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Families

  • Services must support families and help families stay together when in the best interest of the child.
  • Young people must be helped to understand the responsibility of parenting.
  • There must be a commitment to help all families stay out of poverty, and help unemployed families achieve self-sufficiency.
  • All families must be empowered to plan their own futures and must be treated with dignity and respect.
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Community

  • Community members are collectively and individually responsible to support the healthy development of children including holding our elected leaders accountable for appropriate informed public policy decisions.
  • In order to provide needed financial support for children’s programs increased state and federal funding should not result in diminished local support for children’s services. Local funding should be reinvested in prevention programs for children.
  • Services for children and families must be coordinated to reduce duplication, fragmentation, and gaps in our service-delivery system.
  • Priority for funding for children’s services should be based on program effectiveness as demonstrated by data on positive client outcomes.
  • The primary purpose of increased efficiency and improved systems is the reduction of child poverty and improved quality of life for all children.
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IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that residents, business, and institutions of Solano County are invited and encouraged to heighten their awareness of children’s needs and to become involved in assuring improved quality of life for all of our children.

Solano Children’s Alliance Public Policy Principles for Budgetary Decisions

(Reaffirmed by The Solano Children's Alliance 12/3/03)

Budget-related principles already adopted by the Children’s Network Council/Alliance and the Board of Supervisors:

  • In order to provide needed financial support for children’s programs increased state and federal funding should not result in diminished local support for children’s services. Local funding should be reinvested in prevention programs for children.
  • Priority for funding for children’s services should be based on program effectiveness as demonstrated by data on positive client outcomes.
  • The primary purpose of increased efficiency and improved systems is the reduction of child poverty and improved quality of life for all children.
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Ad hoc committee recommendations for Budgetary Principles:

General

  • Any state budget agreement should be designed to help both the state and the counties maximize their service delivery responsibilities, including responsibility for planning, tracking and evaluating outcomes, and should solve their cyclical and structural budget crises.
  • There are significant structural problems in the state’s taxation policies which must be addressed in a manner that promotes equity and resource stability.
  • The annual budget stalemate at the state level harms everyone. Necessary reforms must be undertaken to increase legislator accountability, provide for appropriate reserves in good times, and eliminate the two-thirds majority vote currently required to pass the budget
  • The minority proposal to craft a balanced budget over a two-year time period, instead of all in one year, has merit and should be considered
  • Cuts to effective prevention programs are short-sighted, as they result in far higher costs in out years and therefore must be avoided.
  • Cuts in state or local programs that draw federal match cheat local taxpayers of the benefit of the federal taxes they pay and therefore must be avoided.
  • A balanced approach to resolving the budget crises is essential. Such an approach should include program reductions to programs that are not measuring outcomes; strategies to hold down operating costs; and revenue enhancements including tax increases and reforms, and increased fees where appropriate.
  • We emphatically support the BOS priority for children and their commitment to backfill state cuts with county funds and cut children’s programming last, and recommend the state set a similar priority.
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Specific to Realignment Proposals

  • Revenue sources selected for realignment must be reasonably expected to equal the program costs of those programs that are realigned.
  • Programs that require statewide uniformity should not be realigned; programs that would benefit from greater innovation and flexibility are good candidates for realignment.
  • Programs that are realigned should still be required to track and report program outcomes in a manner that allows for meaningful statewide comparison.
  • If multiple types of programs are realigned, then funding should be split into a few large trust funds with specific purposes for each trust fund (i.e., “Child Health,” not CHDP, Healthy Families, EPSDT, etc.).
  • Realignment of programs and funding sources is a huge change in the system; adequate time and funding for planning and a mandatory role for customer and Community Based Organization involvement in the planning process must be assured.