Healthy Children’s Fund

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Next steps for improving outcomes for Whatcom County children & families.

The Healthy Children’s Fund (Proposition 5), to establish a dedicated fund to support young children and their families, was approved in the November 2022 election. Whatcom County Health and Community Services will be the administrator of that fund. Whatcom County Health and Community Services is committed to both accountability and regular evaluations of the initiative, at all levels, to ensure these funds are being used as intended.

Initial prioritization of funds will go to projects that build capacity in rural areas, have a significant effect on our most vulnerable communities, have the greatest impact overall, and support children and families to find safe homes and get the support they need to thrive.

This new Healthy Children’s Initiative builds on more than a decade of work by hundreds of our fellow community members, in both the public and private sector. It is dedicated to the idea that improving the health of our youngest residents improves the health of our entire community.

History

Since 2012, the health and well-being of young children has been a declared priority in Whatcom County and have been central in the last two cycles of Whatcom County Health and Community Services' Community Health Improvement Plan. A broad level of interest has been shared among elected officials, health care, social service agencies, philanthropies and businesses, who recognize the importance of investing in children during critical periods of growth and development.

As part of this momentum, in 2016, the Whatcom County Health Board declared the health and well-being of young children a particular focus of interest and has maintained that focus in collaboration with the Public Health Advisory Board. In January 2020, the Whatcom County Council passed the Child and Family Action Plan and established the Child and Family Well-being Task Force to support the implementation of that plan. 

Many families have been impacted by the strain on our early learning systems, and our most vulnerable communities have faced these and many additional barriers. Our mandate is to provide relief to families as quickly as possible while still implementing a thoughtful, effective system that will successfully improve a wide array of long-term outcomes for children and families.

What's Next?

2023 Important Dates:

  • Early February: Implementation Plan for the Healthy Children's Fund submitted to the Whatcom County Council.
  • February 21: Implementation Plan introduced in public County Council meeting. Opportunity for Public Comment.
  • March 7: Council members will be able to discuss the plan in their public meeting. Opportunity for Public Comment.
  • March 21: Council is scheduled to vote on adoption of the plan at this public meeting. Opportunity for Public Comment.

Whatcom County Health and Community Services' has an Implementation Planning Team for the Healthy Children's Fund that has worked closely with the following groups from the end of 2022 through January of 2023 to get feedback and set the direction of the plan:

  • Child & Family Wellbeing Task Force.
  • Healthy Whatcom.
  • Behavioral Health Program Fund Advisory Group.
  • Whatcom Child Care Coalition.
  • Ordinance writing group.
  • Public Health Advisory Board.
  • County Council.

Feedback

To leave feedback for the Healthy Children’s Fund Implementation Team, complete our Healthy Children’s Fund Feedback Form