In the Beginning
Through a series of listening projects and community analysis in 2004, Whole Child determined the following about our community:
Strengths of our Community
- More women receive prenatal care than in the past.
- More children are immunized than the state average.
- Domestic violence is down.
- Residents feel safer in their neighborhoods.
- Leon has among the state’s lowest unemployment and high school dropout rates.
- Leon’s median income is $7,000 higher than the state average.
- Leon has several model child care centers.
- Most parents say they read to their children.
Our Community's Challenges
- Leon has more low birth weight babies and a higher infant mortality rate than the state average, especially high among African Americans.
- Leon has a growing number of babies at high risk of developmental problems.
- Infant maltreatment is on the rise.
- Nearly 40% of abuse involves children under age 6.
- Almost 40% of new births are to single moms.
- Many neighborhoods are isolated and not designed to support children or interaction among neighbors.
- More than 40% of children live in poverty.
- There is a lack of affordable, quality child care.
- Leon has a higher than average number of children entering school not ready to learn and retained in kindergarten.
Since that time, Whole Child has worked with community leaders to delve further into determining the root causes of our challenges and in finding ways to more effectively serve our young children and their families. Below are our a few of most recent annual reports that outline specific goals and accomplishments.
Collectively Determining Vital Needs In The Community
The first few years of developing Whole Child Leon were about forming relationships, partnerships, and action plans. In November 2008, community stakeholders (public and private, large and small) came together at a “Community Summit” and adopted 3 key areas that would be its focus for FY: 2009-2010
and subsequent years:
1. Children Are Healthy At Age 1
2. Children Are Making Appropriate Progress
3. Children Are Entering Kindergarten Ready To Succeed
Taking Action—The 2009-2010 Annual Report shares some of the highlights of what has been accomplished within one year of the Summit with indicators as to how each relates to the 3 key areas.
In the 2008 Annual Report, we highlight success stories and significant steps in key areas as well as our plan for the future. Every one of our 90-plus collaborative partners shares a vision for the day when all children in Leon County are healthy at age 1, making appropriate progress, and entering kindergarten ready to succeed. If any group of people can create that day for our community, it is the many partners of Whole Child Leon. With this report, we issue a challenge. Please make giving children a good start in life a priority in the decisions you make, the issues you champion and the programs you support. Join Whole Child Leon in building a community where everyone works together to make sure children thrive.
The 2007 WCL Annual Report outlines the many accomplishments that took place over the year, including: the KidCare initiative; the inaugural Family-Friendly Business Award; Establishing the Whole Child Training Academy; Getting a permanent home for Whole Child Leon; Producing the Catching Smiles musical CD; Initiated the Quality Rating and Improvement System for Child Care Centers.
The 2006 Annual Report outlines how Whole Child Leon is building community commitment to children 0-5 and improving access to and utilization of services through Action Teams, the Steering Committee, the Professional Network and the Leadership Council. Click the link below to download a copy of the full publication.