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Mayor creates a Children's and Youth Cabinet for Boston

The new group of City department heads will align programs and services for young residents.

Mayor Kim Janey yesterday announced she has established a Children’s and Youth Cabinet for the City of Boston. Chaired by the Mayor, members of the new group include Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools (BPS); Mary Churchill, Chief of Policy & Planning; Marty Martinez, Chief of Health & Human Services; and Midori Morikawa, Chief of Economic Development. 

The purpose of the cabinet is to serve as a policy-making group that coordinates City-based programs and services to increase equity, create opportunities and reduce disparities for the children and youth of Boston. The Cabinet will also work to optimize City of Boston partnerships with nonprofit organizations, faith-based partners, higher education institutions and employers.

“I’m proud to announce that we will be forming a Children’s and Youth Cabinet,” said Mayor Janey during her First 100 Days Address. “I have spent most of my career advocating for equity and excellence in youth opportunities in this City. I know the wealth of opportunities we provide. We can do more, if we work better together to serve our youth.” 

The Children’s and Youth Cabinet has a mission to increase equity and reduce disparities for Boston’s youngest residents. Working across City departments, cabinet members will advance this charge by improving communication, aligning programs and services, and developing strategies that place young people at the center of the City’s agenda.  

The Boston Children’s and Youth Cabinet will be responsible for providing policy guidance and coordinating programs and services across the city. Initial efforts for the cabinet include:

  • Creation of an inventory of programs serving children, families, and youth ages 0 to 24 within the City of Boston.
  • Identifying coordination across departments and cabinets that leads to better services and outcomes.
  • Establishing baseline metrics to measure and track progress on the wellbeing of children, families, and youth in the City of Boston.
  • Integrating strategic plans and performance metrics across departments 

The cabinet’s work has already begun. The group coordinated a recent collaboration between BPS and the Boston Public Library (BPL) to enable student ID cards to function as library cards. In June, the City’s Policy and Planning team partnered with BPS, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), and the Office of Workforce Development to launch the College and Career Pathways initiative with Harvard University’s Project on Workforce. The Harvard team will deliver a landscape analysis to this City collaboration at the end of July. 

An external advisory body of families, child and youth advocates, as well as representatives from nonprofit, corporate and academic institutions will work with the cabinet on future efforts. Members of the group will be announced later this summer. 

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