Thursday, Jun 23, 2016
Christa Bigue
  • children at the beach

    Summer reading programs. School resource officers. Nutrition services. Environmental clean-up events. First-hand Election Day experiences. Foster youth employment opportunities.

    These are merely a few examples of how during the current two-year budget cycle the County of San Mateo allocated more than a half-billion dollars on programs that directly benefit children and their families by improving their quality of life and building the strong foundation needed to thrive in the community.

    The Board of Supervisors accepted the Children, Youth and Families Budget for Fiscal Year 2015-2017 as part of its adoption of the recommended FY 2016-2017 budget. The children’s budget is not funded separately from the total budget; rather the independent document summarizes budgets from across County departments to provide a holistic view of the County’s financial and philosophical commitment to the more than 160,000 residents under the age of 18.

    “It is important for the public to know how we value children in our county and understand just how many important and needed services we provide to them and their families thanks to state and federal funding and Measure A sales tax revenue,” said Supervisor Carole Groom, District Two.

    County officials and providers can also use the document as a tool to identify services gaps and avoid duplication.

    The Children, Youth and Families Budget is a follow up to the 10-point Bill of Rights for Children and Youth adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2008 as a commitment to the community’s youngest residents.

    The County of San Mateo produced the inaugural Children, Youth and Families Budget in 2010 to provide the public another way to analyze spending by focusing on the dollars spent on this population and showing how federal, state and Measure A funds are being leveraged. But the document is far more than a list of dollars and cents — sprinkled throughout are personal stories of the people the County has helped with this money, like 4-year-old Melanie whose Big Lift preschool experience has her waking up every morning to excitedly ask, “Is this a school day?”

    The County of San Mateo committed $15 million in Measure A funding to the Big Lift, a literacy partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Mateo County Office of Education.

    Other funds budgeted in Fiscal Year 2016-2017 for children, youth and family programs include:

    ·         $46.7 million for the prevention and investigation of child abuse and neglect

    ·         $33.2 million for family health services

    ·         $6.5 million for the Fair Oaks Children’s Health Center

    ·         $5.2 million for regional mental health clinics

    ·         $4.1 million for school-based mental health teams

    ·         $2.8 million for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Activities League

    The budget is actually two documents, one an overview and the other a more detailed outline of the financial allocations between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017, which are organized by the five community outcomes from San Mateo County’s Shared Vision 2025. Shared Vision 2025 is the County’s plan to make communities more Collaborative, Prosperous, Healthy and Safe, Livable and Environmentally Conscious.

    Both documents, as well as information on the overall County budget, are available at