Office of Children’s Ombudsperson
Valuing the rights and voices of youth is crucial to creating a system of care that promotes the ideal growth of each child. JSOCI has helped children and teenagers find their voice by creating the Office of the Children’s Ombudsperson in Jacksonville. The Ombudsperson serves as a public advocate for youth and develops strategies for protecting their rights.
The Jacksonville System of Care Initiative under the Partnership for Child Health has brought the voices of youth to the wider community by training them to participate in local councils and boards and building their capability as young community leaders that advance children’s rights. JSOCI has also trained boards and councils to include young adults.
Through the work of the Children’s Ombudsperson, JSOCI has developed the Center for Children’s Rights, partnered with Duval County Public Schools, UNICEF USA and more as outlined below.
Partnerships, Advocacy and Innovation
- The remarkable work of Ribault GET RAW (@ribaultgetraw) student-led health initiative supporting the work to make #everyschoolhealthy alongside Wolfson’s Children Hospital and supported by America’s Promise Alliance.
- Creating avenues for local and national youth-led training on adultism and youth engagement.
- Preparing young leaders for participation on nonprofit boards.
- Catalyzing the establishment of the Center for Children's Rights.
- A City Council Resolution recognizing the Child Friendly Cities work and a Mayoral Proclamation celebrating World Children's Day.
- An LGBTQ Youth Leadership program at OneJax, supported by the LGBTQ Fund at the Community Foundation.
- Supporting the development and implementation of an LGBTQIA+ resources web site for children, youth and families.
- Early strategic and leadership support for the EVAC Movement at Lee High School.
- Development of the first-ever District Student Government Association at DCPS.
- Supported the first Florida agency (CHS) to achieve the “Innovative Inclusion” Seal from the Human Rights Campaign's All Children-All Families LGBTQ Cultural Competency initaitve.
- Youth leadership at the International Child Friendly Cities Expert Meeting in Jacksonville.
- Implementing the most innovative ideas in the country. Now there are numerous cities in the US working with UNICEF USA to become recognized Child Friendly Cities, with Minneapolis, Houston, Decatur, and San Francisco likely to be the first on record.
- Helping launch the nation's first Child Friendly Schools.
- Representing Jax at the Child Friendly Cities (CFC) International Summit in Cologne, Germany.
- Bolstering the non-discrimination; promotion and protection of children's rights; meaningful youth participation; cultural competency; wraparound; and systems change work.