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The Children’s Trust

In the late 1980s, recognizing that the needs of children in Miami-Dade County far exceeded the resources and support systems available, a cadre of committed individuals spearheaded a drive to address the problem.

Using a Florida statute that allowed for such an initiative, the group generated a two-part referendum in 1988.

Voters overwhelmingly recognized the need to help area children, but declined to raise their property taxes to do so.

Retired Miami Herald Publisher David Lawrence Jr. spearheaded a new initiative more than a decade later.

Given this second opportunity and a fully funded campaign, Miami-Dade voters in September 2002 approved an independent special district, a dedicated funding source for children entitled “The Children’s Trust.”

The vote was 2-1 in favor. One key difference between the 1988 and 2000 campaigns was that the latter emphasized a commitment to all Miami-Dade children, while clearly recognizing that some children are more at risk and therefore need more help.

A “sunset provision” required that the initiative be returned within five years for voter approval.

That vote took place Aug. 26, 2008. Despite the difficult economic climate, Miami-Dade voters decided in overwhelming numbers — 85.4 percent — to reauthorize The Children’s Trust.

The Children’s Trust, staff and 33-member board are committed to funding programs that offer the highest possible quality services, with the goals of implementing best practices and improving the lives of children and families in our community.

In 2010, The Trust board and staff, together with community participation, developed a results-based Strategic Plan for Investments for 2011-2015.

This plan identifies four major goals or results that The Children’s Trust seeks to achieve in collaboration with community partners:

That children be healthy, both physically and emotionally; supported by safe, nurturing families and communities; ready to succeed when entering school, and succeeding in school and society.