OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE SHENG THAO CHAMPIONS THE CREATION OF A NEW DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 3rd, 2021
Oakland, California - In celebration of our young leaders and their role in making Oakland a place where all families can flourish, Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao, who represents District 4 on the Oakland City Council, championed the first step towards creating a new Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).
Councilmember Thao envisions the Department of Children, Youth, and Families as a one-stop-shop for services dedicated to our youth. Thao states, “Housing all youth programming in a single department, overseen by a dedicated director will streamline youth services by leveraging relationships with Alameda County, Oakland Unified School District, childcare centers, after school programs, and other programs and nonprofits that serve the diverse families living in Oakland. This is vital to creating a stronger and safer Oakland.”
“As a mother, I know how hard it can be to connect our youth with services in our city, and I know we can do better,” explained Councilmember Sheng Thao. “We must make it easier for families to find support. A dedicated Department will also disrupt the school to prison pipeline and lift our underinvested communities. It will more effectively provide high quality youth development programs, summer jobs programs, and opportunities for children of all ages. I am grateful to Brooklyn Williams for partnering with me on this endeavour.”
In partnership with Brooklyn Williams, the District 4 representative on Oakland’s Reimagining Public Safety task force and an expert in supporting transition aged youth, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families was developed as a long term investment in preventing crime, healing generational trauma, and giving marginalized communities more opportunity to participate and thrive.
“Establishing a DCYF in Oakland has been a long time coming. The data is very clear: programs focused on educating, empowering, and uplifting our youngest residents have positive impacts on crime, poverty, and overall health of a community. Centralizing youth and family services and programs into a DCYF facilitates the creation of a city wide youth development strategy and leverages resources within the City of Oakland. This collective impact strategy can give our most vulnerable neighbors a brighter future, and by doing so make our neighborhoods safer and healthier,” said Brooklyn Williams. “When we talk about reimagining public safety, we should absolutely take the most effective and most affordable route for Oakland, and that route begins by increasing investments in our families.”
Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao looks forward to her continued partnership with Brooklyn Williams and the City Council as they navigate through an open and transparent process to move this proposal forward. Oakland should be committed to investing in our families first.