Baltimore Children’s Cabinet Releases 2021 Action Plan, Cites Key Actions to Improve Outcomes for Baltimore’s Children and Youth

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Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
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BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, March 1, 2021) — The Baltimore Children’s Cabinet today released its 2021 Action Plan, a stark picture of the unacceptable odds Baltimore’s children face, and a set of concrete actions the Children’s Cabinet will lead to improve outcomes for Baltimore’s nearly 200,000 young residents between the ages of 0 and 24.

Led by the Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success, the Baltimore Children’s Cabinet brings together City and State agencies, as well as external partners, to align programs and investments for Baltimore City’s children and youth. 

The release of the plan follows a year of deep engagement with the community through workgroups, surveys and town halls—all of which informed the plan’s actions. It also marks unprecedented partnership among Baltimore’s youth-serving agencies and organizations around a single set of priorities and clear actions to advance those priorities.

“Our children and youth are Baltimore’s most important asset, yet too many young people in Baltimore City face ob­stacles to success, obstacles rooted in racism and inequity,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The Children’s Cabinet 2021 Action Plan reflects a focused, cohesive, community-informed course of action to address those obstacles. This launches a long-term commitment to creating a Baltimore where all children and youth don’t just succeed, but thrive and fulfill their potential.”

On Monday, Mayor Scott issued a mayoral proclamation endorsing the Action Plan and his administration’s commitment to prioritizing youth, advancing equity and making Baltimore a safe city filled with academic, employment and recreational opportunities for its youngest residents. These themes were also outlined in the Mayor’s recently-released Transition Report.

“Mayor Scott’s unwavering commitment to Baltimore’s young people sets the tone for our efforts to implement the Action Plan in the months ahead,” said Tisha Edwards, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success and Children’s Cabinet Chair. “This work can only be realized through collective action and collective impact, and the Children’s Cabinet is a powerful example of what collective action can achieve. Nearly 200 individu­als and representatives of dozens of entities came together virtually in the last year to identify specific actions that allow us to start down the path of reversing the unaccepta­ble odds our children face. But we can’t do it alone. We need everyone on board. And our mayor has issued that call to action, loud and clear.”

A year ago, the Children’s Cabinet identified seven priority areas of focus based on community input and data on key life outcomes for Baltimore youth: (1) early childhood development, (2) youth food insecurity, (3) youth homelessness, (4) youth literacy, (5) trauma-informed care for youth, (6) youth diversion, and (7) historical barriers to success for Black boys and young men. 

The Children’s Cabinet assigned a workgroup to each of its priorities, and those workgroups spent the last year gathering input from the community, professional experts and youth to inform a strategy to advance those priorities. The Action Plan is the roll-up of that effort, with 15 specific actions the Children’s Cabinet will launch in 2021. The goal is to identify which actions have the greatest potential to be scaled to improve the lives of young people in measurable ways in 2022. 

Starting this month, each Children’s Cabinet workgroup will work to implement two key actions to advance its priority focus area. The workgroups will also work collectively to champion policy and legislative changes that address the challenges identified in each of the Children’s Cabinet seven priority areas, and amplify the voices of youth to put their voices at the center of conversations with decision-makers about the issues and solutions that matter most to them.

As the Children’s Cabinet begins implementation of the 2021 Action Plan, it continues to engage the broad community through monthly town halls focused on its seven priorities. The February town hall focused on trauma-informed care for youth; the March town hall will focus on youth literacy. Find more information on the Children’s Cabinet and upcoming town halls here.

The Children’s Cabinet 2021 Action Plan is also the focus of a Baltimore City Council hearing in the Education, Workforce and Youth Committee on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10:30AM. Details about the meeting and how to participate can be found here

Read the full Baltimore Children’s Cabinet 2021 Action Plan here.

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