SALISBURY – The Governor’s Office for Children has awarded Wicomico County $764,487 in funding for fiscal year 2018 to support local initiatives that serve children and families.
Lisa Campbell, director for Wicomico Local Management Board (LMB)/Wicomico Partnership for Families & Children, said Wicomico’s LMB partnered with Salisbury University’s Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) to host community forums, focus groups, surveys and interviews to develop a plan that would address the community’s most pressing needs.
“The focus is to reduce incarceration, reduce poverty, reduce youth homelessness, reduce juvenile felony offenses and increase college and career readiness,” she said.
Campbell said the Wicomico Partnership for Families & Children then submitted a grant proposal for funding based on the community planning process, which began in March of 2016 and ended this May of this year.
The total funding is divided among eight local programs designed to help children, families and youth adults achieve successful outcomes.
Junior Achievement Fellows, a career and life skills training program for those ages 18-24, was awarded $138,000. Navigation, a program that coordinates resources for families in poverty or homelessness, was awarded $115,000. Safe Haven, which concentrates on families with inmate members, was awarded $71,000. Summer Youth Employment, a program that provides recipients with summer employment and career coaching, was awarded $55,900.
Funding was also given to family education, afterschool and re-entry mediation programs and board supplies.
Campbell said the goal is to reach all families and children in Wicomico County and to partner with local agencies that serve families and children, including the Department of Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Services, the Wicomico County Department of Corrections and other area employers. She added that County Executive Bob Culver and Wicomico’s LMB have worked to implement programs that create opportunities for families in Wicomico County to be safe and economically stable.
“Personally, I don’t believe that is too lofty of a goal as long as agencies, community groups, and employers continue to partner in building sustainable supports,” she said.
Campbell applauded the work of elected leaders and officials in securing funding for local entities.
“As all LMB directors, I am always ecstatic when we get through budget sessions without LMB funding being cut,” she said. “Maryland’s Governor’s Office for Children and the Local Management Board Association have worked with our delegates and other elected officials to continue sharing the importance and urgency to continue funding our Local Management Boards.”