County Examples

One at a time: Feeding Hungry Children and Preventing Juvenile Crime in a Small NY City

Orange County, N.Y.

Orange County is creating opportunities for children to succeed in Newburgh, NY thanks to three initiatives: 1. Feed the children 2. Change the way we deal with juvenile delinquency; and 3. Expand Higher Education opportunities. The Orange Cares program, identifies food insecure children and provides food for children and families each week. The food is packaged so that it is not obvious to those around. The program builds upon non-profit initiatives, such as the School Back Pack program. Orange Cares has been implemented in five school districts, including two cities that are historically low-income, and serves approximately 500 students each month County Executive Neuhaus fostered a pilot project that was launched in the City of to provide needed services upfront to youth arrested as Juvenile Delinquents. He directed departments to work collaboratively; with the goal to provide youth with pre-diversion/court voluntary services to assist them with their challenges and prevent further penetration of the Juvenile Justice system, and ultimately avoid the adult criminal justice system. New York is one of only two States in the nation that prosecute some juveniles as adults. Our County Executive has prioritized Juvenile Justice Reform in the County Attorney’s Office, Probation, and the Department of Social Services with a goal of reducing recidivism. When County departments encounter juvenile crime, they are to deal with the root causes. His vision is to take a holistic approach; feeding children if they are hungry, offering valuable counseling to the youth and their family, helping them access programs that may be beneficial to them, and of course, educating them. The County utilizes a family engagement specialist who can educate families about available food resources, available public transportation, or access to healthcare and transportation to the same. Orange County’s goal is to launch a trade school at no cost to Newburgh School District children, to learn building and construction related trades. In the City of Newburgh, one of the most violent in the State, two-thirds of contacted families have voluntarily accepted Family Engagement services. Recidivism has decreased and no participants have been placed out of the home.

Ms. Tiffany Gagliano 
Chief Assistant County Attorney

About 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work

Counties play an essential role in keeping America’s communities healthy, vibrant and safe. With public and private sector partners, we pursue innovative approaches to advance public health and well-being, protect public safety and foster economic strength and resiliency. Counties anticipate and adapt to challenges by thinking outside the box and demonstrating local leadership that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Under the leadership of NACo Immediate Past President Bryan Desloge, NACo embarked on an initiative to identify and share 100 examples of visionary county leadership that results in improving residents’ quality of life. Through this initiative, NACo worked with county leaders and partners to share best practices that bolster our nation’s ability to thrive county by county.

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