Families and Children Task Force Report Recommendations

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Date

2008

Authors

City of Austin Families and Children Task Force

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Publisher

City of Austin

Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Families and Children Task Force was formed by the Austin City Council on June 21, 2007 (Ordinance No. 20070621-097). The Task Force was created in recognition that families and children are critical to the vitality of our community. At the same time, the growth pressures that Austin is experiencing have been particularly challenging for families with children. These difficulties are especially pronounced for families attempting to secure quality child care and affordable family-sized housing. The Task Force, composed of representatives of diverse stakeholder groups and areas of expertise, was charged with identifying concerns in the areas of child care, housing, and transportation; identifying and evaluating best practices from other cities and the literature; and developing a set of recommendations for the Austin City Council. The Task Force first met on September 26, 2007, and proceeded to work diligently over a period of nine months to identify the relevant challenges, issues, and best practices. The Task Force divided into two subcommittees: a child care subcommittee, and a housing and planning subcommittee. The Task Force identified a set of problems and issues that confront families with children through consultations with experts and practitioners in the City of Austin, discussions among stakeholders, a web-based survey developed by Task Force members, and several focus group sessions. Members of the Task Force reviewed existing city policies and current family-friendly features, consulted with local and national experts, and analyzed best practices from cities that have sought to create family-friendly environments. Based on these sources of input, the Task Force developed a vision of a community that would be welcoming for families with children. The input and vision were used to develop a set of recommendations that would make Austin into a truly family-friendly city. The Task Force completed its work in June 2008, and now presents this report to the Austin City Council, the Austin Independent School District, and the Travis County Commissioners Court

Description

The Waller Creek Citizen Advisory committee and Waller Creek Plan are seen as important contributors to family safety. The report stresses the necessity of families with children to be on the Waller Creek Citizen Advisory committee, and cites the Waller Creek Plan as an example of enhancing the parks planning process for children.

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