Bill of Rights for Children and Youth

Taking a Stand for Children
Endorsed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 9, 2010, the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth ensures that leaders keep the needs of young people at the forefront of decisions about budgets and government policies. The Bill of Rights provides the foundation for the Children’s Agenda and helps our community make children and youth a top priority, even during times of political change and financial upheaval.

All children, youth and families have a right to be safe, healthy, successful in learning, and successful in life inclusive of race, culture, religion, language, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and developmental or physical abilities. Santa Clara County is enriched by the diversity of its children, youth and families. Therefore, we resolve to support Santa Clara County children, youth and families so that:

1. They have a healthy mind, body, and spirit that enable them to maximize their potential.
2. They develop a healthy attachment to a parent, guardian or caregiver and an ongoing relationship with a caring and supportive adult.
3. Their essential needs are met— nutritious food, shelter, clothing, health care, and accessible transportation.
4. They have a safe and healthy environment, including homes, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.
5. They have access to a 21st-century education that promotes success in life and in future careers and a love of life-long learning.
6. They have training in life skills that will prepare them to live independently, be self-sufficient, and contribute to their community.
7. They have employment opportunities with protections from unfair labor practices.
8. They have freedom from mistreatment, abuse and neglect.
9. They have a voice in matters that affect them.
10. They have a sense of hope for their future.

Child Impact Statements: How County Decision-making Affects Our Children

If you are a parent about to make a major decision, one of your first questions will be: “Is it good for our children?” What if our public officials asked the same question before making decisions about our community?

Since 2011, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has named children’s welfare a top consideration in making budget and policy determinations through “Child Impact Statements,” a systematic approach to evaluating and understanding how government decisions will affect children and families. Utilizing the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth and the goals of the Children’s Agenda, Child Impact Statements help the board by making the needs of children a primary concern early in the decision-making process.

Santa Clara County Children’s Budget (which image?)

On November 18, child advocates, coalition members, and Supervisors Susan Ellenberg and Cindy Chavez came together to unveil the County of Santa Clara’s first Children’s Budget. The new report, Santa Clara County’s Children’s Budget, provides a baseline of how much money is spent on the County’s youngest residents-its children. As Sup. Ellenberg states, “Santa Clara County needs to prioritize children because doing so is the single most important investment a society makes in its future. We are unable to accomplish that goal without first knowing where we currently stand. The Children’s Budget is a critical baseline and first step towards where we are headed: towards a County that places the needs of our children as their single greatest priority.” The report can be read here.

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