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A cross sector of local agencies and organizations gathered Friday for a public presentation of Danville’s Children & Youth Master Plan that has been more than one year in the making.
The master plan will serve as a road map for how city government, schools and the community can work collaboratively to ensure all children have the opportunities and resources necessary to thrive from cradle to career.
Devanshi Patel, co-founder and CEO of the Center for Youth & Family Advocacy in Arlington, and her team have been working with agencies and organizations, community leaders, community activists, business leaders, and service providers, to develop this master plan.
“We have been working with people in Danville to best understand Danville’s needs so that we can address the tough social issues that are affecting Danville, and in that space transforming systems so that we can meet the needs of each child,” Patel said. “Ultimately, we are looking at a generational shift.”
This master plan is the first of its kind for the city, and it includes about 80 recommendations organized around eight key strategic areas. Within each area are objectives that are broken down into immediate, short-term, and long-term actions.
City Manager Ken Larking said it is important as a community to have strong programs for young people. “We recognize that not everyone starts at the same place,” Larking said. “Some have challenges greater than others. We have an obligation as a community to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities in life, no matter their background.”
The next step is to select or develop an entity to implement the plan.
The Center for Youth & Family Advocacy also is involved in implementing youth restorative justice practices in Danville through its Promoting Empathy through Equitable Resolution (PEER) program. The program offers the ability to resolve matters affecting young people outside the legal system.