DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS: CHILDREN AND YOUTH CABINET

2-A

Problem Identification:
There is a tremendous lack of coordination and cooperation among the myriad of public, private, and non-profit organizations that are funding and delivering services to Baltimore’s children and youth. This disjointed approach to service delivery creates programmatic duplication and inhibits the City’s ability to fully leverage existing funding levels.

Recommended Action:
Create a Children and Youth Cabinet to coordinate citywide policy and program development through enhanced collaboration between public, private, and non-profit organizations involved in the funding and delivery of services.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Organizational, Revenue Enhancement, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All public, private, and non-profit funders and providers of children and youth services.

Estimated Annual Impact:
While the immediate financial impact cannot be estimated, improved organizational coordination and the elimination of duplicative efforts should increase all participating stakeholders’ service delivery capacity.

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
Organizational and programmatic parochialism manifest in an unwillingness to participate in a coordinated citywide effort.

Projected Implementation:
60 days

Next Steps:
An initial meeting should be convened by the Mayor with all public, private, and non-profit stakeholders that are involved in the funding and delivery of services to Baltimore’s children and youth. The Mayor should charge the Cabinet with maximizing the impact of all public, private, and non-profit investment in children and youth initiatives through enhanced organizational coordination, new service delivery models, and the elimination of duplicative programs and initiatives.

Analysis:
The effectiveness and efficiency of services delivered can be improved through the Department’s increased collaboration and coordination with other City departments and the business and non-profit communities. As the project team has conducted its work and met with stakeholders from the advocacy and service provider communities, it has been enlightened to learn of: (1) the tremendous amount of financial resources that are already invested throughout the city; and, (2) the willingness of these groups to forge partnerships with the Department to fully leverage the impact of all funds spent. It was a shock to learn that in FY98 alone, nine of the city’s largest public and non-profit providers of youth services spent a total of almost $43 million on after-school programming, as reflected in this chart:

Entity Funding Source Federal Funding Source State Funding Source Local Funding Source Grants Funding Source Contributions Total
Baltimore City Public Schools $625,000 $625,000
Boys & Girls Clubs $2,707,000 $4,345,000 $1,000.00 $8,052,000
Child First Authority $370,000 $370,000 $740,000
Dept. Recreation & Parks $9,826,000 $9,826,000
Enoch Pratt Free Library $266,000 $2,329,000 $3,259,000 $477,000 $6,331,000
Housing Authority $1,300,000 $1,300,000
Parks & People Foundation $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $3,000,000 $200,000 $5,200,000
Police Athletic League Centers $1,010,000 $6,580,000 $2,710,000 $10,300,000
YMCA of Central MD $240,000 $240,000 $480,000
Total $2,576,000 $6,406,000 $25,380,000 $6,950,000 $1,542,000 $42,584,000

Source: Family League of Baltimore City

It is the opinion of the project team that the universe of available services and funding is more than adequate and, the real need is to coordinate these activities so that service duplications can be eliminated and the impact of this significant amount of investment can be maximized. This can only occur by the Department taking a leadership role in coordinating these efforts and convening a volunteer Children and Youth Cabinet to set policy. This Cabinet would be responsible for coordinating all of the activities involving youth development and recreational services (including the allocation of funds); the coordination of partnerships and joint ventures with private and non-profit agencies; and the development of clear policy statements and evaluation tools. All City agencies that offer youth and family recreational services would be members of the Cabinet, as well as other critical private and non-profit stakeholders. As a demonstration of the significance of this entity, it is strongly recommended that this cabinet be led by a Deputy Mayor.