Making Children A Priority
In Pinellas County, children are 17% of our population and 100% of our future. Yet, a number of conditions may hinder them from realizing their fullest potential. For over 70 years, the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County (JWB) has been committed to making children a priority – advocating for their best interests and investing to improve their futures.
JWB is a high-performing, data-driven organization established by a Special Act of the Florida Legislature to strengthen the lives of children and families in Pinellas County. As a countywide special taxing district, we responsibly direct our community’s investments to give children the best opportunities to lead healthy, successful, and satisfying lives.
Governed by an 11-member Board of Directors and nationally accredited through the Council on Accreditation, JWB’s annual program budget of $53 million strengthened the lives of 68,000 children and families last year. We invest in 89 programs with 51 nonprofit agencies and work collectively with partners to address childhood hunger, grade-level reading, and preventable child deaths. Our investments and work are focused in four strategic areas: School Readiness, School Success, the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and Strengthening Community.
We invest in partnerships, innovation, and advocacy to strengthen Pinellas County children and families.
Children in Pinellas County
will have a future of more successful and satisfying lives because of the efforts of JWB and our partners.
We value every child.
We embrace collaboration.
We celebrate results.
We pursue innovation.
The Juvenile Welfare Board was created in 1945 by Pinellas County citizens who were the first in the nation to collectively say all children matter. At that time, few alternatives existed for troubled children other than adult jail. Three early champions – Lincoln C. Bogue, a juvenile judge, Mailande Holland Barton, founder and chair of the St. Petersburg Junior League, and Leonard Cooperman, an attorney – drafted legislation to create an independent, tax-supported board to guard the rights and needs of Pinellas County children. In 1945, the legislation passed and, on November 5, 1946, Pinellas County voters overwhelmingly passed a referendum to enact the Juvenile Welfare Board Special Act into law. This was the first time in U.S. history that a community created such an entity and that citizens had the courage and foresight to tax themselves to improve children’s futures.