Invest in Kids - TCA releases 2019 City of Rochester Budget Analysis
• Invest in children and the adults who care for or teach them;
• Invest in structural and regional strategies to create a future free from racial inequities;
• Invest in community collaborations that create a “village” where young people can grow and thrive.
Among local public entities who influence the lives of children and youth, the City has unique opportunities. City decisions impact every aspect of a child’s life – housing, neighborhoods, education, literacy, public safety, healthy environments, physical activity, recreation, employment and more. The City does not have sole responsibility for any of these touchpoints, and its resources and authority are limited. But the City has a powerful and significant role to play in changing the trajectory of kids’ lives in our community. It is already playing that role in a number of initiatives and yet, like all of us, it should do more.
Our analysis calls for four priority recommendations:
1. Build and strengthen Rochester’s early childhood and youth development workforce, prioritizing it as a critical part of our future infrastructure. Working with young people is often a low-wage job that does not reflect the fact that these workers are providing the foundation up which our future city is built.
2. Help lead a high-level collaborative effort to create an annual community-wide advocacy agenda for kids;
3. Adopt decision-making tools to ensure that City resources and programs reduce racial inequities;
4. Make Rochester a “Restorative City.” Equip all City employees who work with children, including police officers and Department of Youth and Recreation staff, with ongoing training on trauma-informed care and restorative justice practices.
A child´s first three years are the most crucial years of their development. With that in mind, New York State created the “First 1000 Days on Medicaid Initiative” in the summer of 2017. Dr. Jeff Kaczorowski, TCA's Senior Advisor along with our colleagues from the Schuyler Center and Alliance for a Quality Education discuss the Initiative's progress, highlighting Rochester as a model community for systems integration and multi-sector partnerships such as All Kids Thrive. The Connect NY program will air on our local PBS affiliate WXXI on Wednesday, July 3rd at 4pm.
Every summer, locations all across the city offer free meals to Rochester youth 18 and younger, but many residents and families don't know about this great resource. Help us spread the word, so that every child accesses free, healthy meals in a safe place to have fun and learn, all summer long.