In 1999, recognizing that state and county level agencies or organizations are often unaware of the activities of other agencies, the Alabama legislature revised a 1975 law that mandated local juvenile judges to form local Juvenile Justice Coordinating Councils. The revised law replaced the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Councils with local county Children’s Policy Councils. Each of the councils is also given fiscal and programmatic responsibilities for the local council. The law also specifies fifteen categories of mandated members of the councils while giving each council the responsibility for selecting an additional seven at-large members. By purposely bringing together agency, organization and community members, children’s services are more likely to be delivered as a collaborative effort rather than taking place in isolation, often resulting in duplication of efforts or missed opportunities to provide services. The same law created a state children’s policy council. The state council members include the head of every state agency that affects children, the state’s leading children’s advocates, and political figures.

 
County Children's Policy Councils

The law requires the county Children’s Policy Councils to do the following:
  • Hold quarterly meetings, although councils may meet as often as they wish
  • Create and submit a Needs Assessment by July 1st of each year
  • Submit an Annual Resource Directory
  • Maintain the mandated membership as follows:
  • Juvenile Judge (chairperson)
  • Department of Human Resources
  • Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
  • Department of Youth Services
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Medicaid Agency
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
  • Superintendent(s) of Education
  • Chief Juvenile Probation Officer
  • County Health Department
  • District Attorney
  • Local Legislators
  • Chairperson of the County Commission
  • Appoint at least seven members at large who are from the community and interested in children’s issues

The duties of the county Children’s Policy Council include:
  • Reviewing the needs of children ages 0 to 19
  • Reviewing the responsibilities assigned each agency by law
  • Determining areas of responsibility and identifying area of duplication and/or conflict between agencies
  • Identifying local resources
  • Developing a local resource guide to services available to children which shall include procedural information concerning how to access such local services
  • Articulating and communicating to the local community the needs of children
  • Submitting an annual report and needs assessment
The county Children’s Policy Councils are assisted by staff from the Department of Children’s Affairs.

To find out more about the CPC, please contact Liletta Jenkins at liletta.jenkins@dca.alabama.gov or 334-353-2710