History of the Children's Policy Council

In 1999, recognizing that state and county level agencies or organizations are often unaware of the activities of other agencies, the Alabama legislature revised a 1975 law that mandated local juvenile judges to form local Juvenile Justice Coordinating Councils. The revised law replaced the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Councils with local county Children’s Policy Councils. Each of the councils is also given fiscal and programmatic responsibilities for the local council. The law also specifies fifteen categories of mandated members of the councils while giving each council the responsibility for selecting an additional seven at-large members. By purposely bringing together agency, organization and community members, children’s services are more likely to be delivered as a collaborative effort rather than taking place in isolation, often resulting in duplication of efforts or missed opportunities to provide services. The same law created a state children’s policy council. The state council members include the head of every state agency that affects children, the state’s leading children’s advocates, and political figures.