County Executive Frank White, Jr. appoints three-person advisory committee to review applications to serve on the first-ever board for the Children's Services Fund. The board will oversee the distribution of funding for social service programs for youths.
Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. praised voters for “putting children first” Nov. 8 when they approved creating a special fund to support social service agencies that help youths in need. White has now taken the first step in implementing the new fund: naming a three-person committee to review applications to serve on the first-ever board of the Children’s Services Fund.
The advisory committee members — John Bluford III, former Truman Medical Centers President/CEO; Dr. Susan B. Wilson, Vice Chancellor for the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Steve Roling, former President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City— will review board applications submitted online at jacksongov.org/childrensfund or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They’ll then pass along their recommendations to the county executive, who will appoint nine people to the board.
The application deadline is Jan. 20, 2017.
The Children’s Services Fund board will oversee the distribution of the approximately $15 million expected to be generated annually by the one-eighth cent sales tax voters approved.
“I am pleased that Jackson County voters put children first with their approval of the Children’s Services Fund,” said White. “Our youth are our future. Reaching them with the right services at the right time is critical.” He also thanked Jackson County’s Legislators for their leadership in support of the fund.
The all-volunteer Children’s Services Fund board will consist of at least one member residing in each of the six County Legislative districts. No one representing an agency receiving county funding may sit on the board.
The County Executive will review the advisory committee’s recommendations and announce his final selections for the board in early March 2017. The new board is expected to hold its first meeting prior to April 1.
The funds raised within Jackson County will stay in Jackson County. They’ll go to support programs and services that will benefit tens of thousands of children who are homeless, experiencing domestic violence, in foster care or suffering from abuse and neglect.
According to the Children’s Services Fund Coalition, investing in these services ultimately saves money. For every $1 invested in prevention, an estimated $11 is saved that would have been spent on substance abuse treatment, lost wages and criminal justice system costs.
Seven other counties in Missouri have passed a sales tax initiative establishing a Children’s Services Fund, and the funds are supporting an array of services that are making a positive impact, including reducing child abuse and neglect, helping families regain housing and stability, and other positive outcomes enabling children and youth to become productive members of their community.
John W. Bluford, III is the President Emeritus of Truman Medical Centers (TMC), where he served as President/CEO of the hospital for the past 15 years. Bluford’s tenure at TMC is part of a distinguished career in hospital and health system administration that has spanned more than four decades. He currently serves as President of the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute.
Susan B. Wilson, Ph.D., is the Vice Chancellor for the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her division is responsible for oversight and implementation of UMKC’s strategic diversity plan. She is also charged with advising the Chancellor on matters of diversity, while leading the Chancellor’s Diversity Council. Wilson previously held healthcare leadership positions at Spofford, Swope Health Services and St. Luke’s Health System, where she led administrative and clinical operations, including program development, accreditation, school-based initiatives and cultural competency efforts.
Steve Roling has served as President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and held senior leadership roles with the Missouri Department of Social Services and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He has extensive leadership experience in the business, government and nonprofit sectors.