New initiative promotes culture of commitment to Delaware children through cross-sector partnerships
WILMINGTON, Del. – Joined by members of his Cabinet, representatives from Casey Family Programs and child advocates, Governor John Carney joined First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney on Thursday to announce First Chance Delaware – an initiative led by the First Lady to recognize and facilitate effective partnerships, to share research and best practices, and to promote opportunities to collaborate in support of Delaware’s children.
Casey Family Programs provided the founding grant for First Chance Delaware, and will continue to provide technical and operational support through Casey’s First Spouse Initiative program.
Delawareans can learn more about First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney’s “First Chance Delaware” initiative, and sign up to help, at de.gov/firstchance.
“First Chance is not a new program. It is a framework, in coordination with the Family Services Cabinet Council, to promote a statewide culture of commitment to Delaware’s children,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “In advancing that culture, we recognize our shared interest, as well as our shared moral obligation, to give all children an opportunity to realize their potential – in learning, work, and citizenship. We also recognize that, working in isolation, not even the most well intentioned – or even the most well-funded – organizations or individuals can address the obstacles to success that too many of our children confront in the 21st Century. The challenges are intertwined; each deepens the others, in a geometric – and often generational – erosion of opportunity. So to be effective, the efforts to alleviate those challenges must be coordinated and mutually reinforcing. Everyone concerned with Delaware’s future needs to be involved.”
First Chance Delaware will focus its work on:
- Ending childhood hunger and expanding access to nutritious food for low-income children;
- Promoting learning readiness through literacy, health and parent-child engagement programs; and
- Advancing the recognition of – and effective responses to – adverse childhood experiences.
“First Chance Delaware encourages partners from across government, the nonprofit sector, and private business to work together on behalf of Delaware’s children,” said Governor Carney. “This initiative is already helping to confront childhood hunger across our state, and will bring partners together to take on challenges surrounding trauma, learning readiness, and childhood literacy. Thank you to Tracey for her leadership, and we look forward to bringing more voices and resources to the table with the goal of finding solutions to critical issues facing Delaware’s children.”
The statewide Task Force to End Childhood Hunger is the first model partnership to be recognized as a First Chance Delaware program.
“Making sure our children and families have the tools they need to thrive and be successful is vital,” said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “The partnerships created by First Chance Delaware will help us identify gaps so that we can assist and provide for our children in so many areas. I look forward to working with Governor Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, as well as the Family Services Cabinet Council, to help make our children and families stronger and healthier.”
“As a member of the Governor’s Family Services Cabinet Council, I have seen firsthand the Governor’s commitment to improving the lives of Delaware’s children and families; however, state government alone cannot address all of the needs of Delawareans, which is why we are all very grateful to First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney for creating First Chance Delaware,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. “First Chance Delaware will break down the barriers between state agencies and all other individuals and organizations to encourage collaboration and creative solutions to some of the most complex issues facing our children and families.”
Related Background Information
The statewide Task Force to End Childhood Hunger, with a central team convened by the First Lady, includes representatives from the Food Bank of Delaware, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Social Services. This task force’s specific goals include increasing participation and building partnerships in support of the Summer Food Service Program and alternative model school breakfasts. The task force also seeks to promote awareness of all programs, public and private, available to Delawareans experiencing food insecurity. Other task force partners include the Harry K Foundation; superintendents, principals, and members of the Delaware School Nutrition Association; the Department of Agriculture and Delaware farmers; Summer Food Service Program sponsors and partners; and the regional office of the USDA.