Youth safety is critical to our entire community’s safety, and, in order to ensure that the strongest safety protocols are in place, information must be shared county-wide in order to identify ways to leverage our collective resources, and to encourage and increase community engagement. The Youth Safety Initiative aims to provide a holistic, comprehensive, community-wide approach to protect children, not only in their classrooms, but also in their neighborhoods and local parks.
In-School SafetyThe In-School working group’s primary focus is to establish and execute a robust safety net of support for our youth in all schools throughout Miami-Dade County. As such, the In-School working group, in collaboration with all stakeholders, drafted numerous recommendations founded on evidence based research, merging technologies and input from all committee members. This joint effort facilitated members of the law enforcement community to come together and draft a comprehensive School Critical Incident Response Plan; the first of its kind in the history of this great County.
Crime Stoppers App
The In-School working group recognizes the importance of using technological advancements, in keeping up with our youth and social trends, to improve and expand crime reporting platforms, while allowing those who report crimes to remain anonymous. To that end, the In-School working group, together with the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, developed a new mobile application that allows users to submit secure and anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers, law enforcement agencies and school staff.
During the In-School working group committee meetings, one of the foremost community concerns was the need to increase police presence in and around schools, and at places where youth gather. With that challenge in mind, strategies were proffered and developed, in line with existing resources, to achieve this objective. This initiative continues to be in effect, with established information sharing of major events, such as truancy sweeps, early release dates, recess days, and other significant in-school events.
In the ongoing effort to enhance school safety county-wide, the In-School working group is continuously meeting and exploring existing recommendations, and is open to receiving new ideas that will lay the foundation, as a work in progress, of which the community will be the ultimate beneficiary of a safer environment for our youth.
Out of School SafetyPurpose
The purpose of the Out-of-School working group is to convene local stakeholders, community leaders, educators, law enforcement and government service providers to discuss and recommend necessary action steps to ensure the safety, health and well-being for children in our community while out of school.
As such, group’s desired outcome is to identify and recommend long-lasting strategies and partnerships that will improve the safety of children at parks and neighborhoods. The Out-of-School working group is committed to working together with the community and the members of the Joint Roundtable on Youth Safety to achieve our goals of providing safer environments for our youth.
Some of the key recommendations that were developed by the Out-of-School working group include:
- increasing participation and collaboration in truancy sweeps and truancy abatement efforts,
- increased police visibility outside school grounds and in an around areas frequented by at-risk youth,
- providing mental health awareness training to park personnel,
- enhancing relationships between park and police personnel, and
- increasing public awareness of crime prevention programs just to name a few.
Community Action Plan
Youth ServicesThe Joint Roundtable on Youth Safety Youth Services working group consists of community stakeholders, law enforcement, community and faith-based organizations.
The Youth Services working group’s primary focus is to establish and execute a robust safety net of support for all youth throughout Miami-Dade County. As such, the Youth Safety working group, in collaboration with all stakeholders, drafted numerous recommendations addressing the needs of at-risk children in school, community, and home.
This joint effort provided the mechanism to bring together leaders in the area of education, mental health, substance abuse, mentoring, employment, crime prevention, juvenile justice, recreation, and many more. The utilization of crime data was essential in identifying trends and service needs for at-risk children.
Some of the key recommendations that were developed by the Youth Services working group include:
- Increasing student access to school-based behavioral/mental health services
- Providing family advocates for children and families in need
- Developing a Training/Professional Development Menu for Collaborative Participation of organizations/professionals
- Identifying evidence-based/best practice family engagement training to provide to community providers
- Establishing a One Stop Mentoring referral system
- Conducting Creating Community Change: Youth Empowerment Summits throughout the community
- Identifying and enhancing employment programs and initiatives for youth that have a track of success in meeting the community's needs