First Chance initiative aims to help children

DOVER — State officials on Thursday announced an initiative to foster cooperation between government agencies, nonprofits and businesses to help children.

First Chance Delaware, as the effort is known, will be led by Tracey Quillen Carney, the wife of Gov. John Carney. It will focus on combating childhood hunger, helping children learn and providing more support for young Delawareans impacted by trauma.

“First Chance is not a new program. It is a framework, in coordination with the Family Services Cabinet Council, to promote a statewide culture of commitment to Delaware’s children,” Mrs. Carney said in a statement.

“In advancing that culture, we recognize our shared interest, as well as our shared moral obligation, to give all children an opportunity to realize their potential — in learning, work, and citizenship. We also recognize that, working in isolation, not even the most well intentioned — or even the most well-funded — organizations or individuals can address the obstacles to success that too many of our children confront in the 21st century.

Tracey Quillen Carney, wife of Delaware Governor John Carney,  is leading the First Chance Delaware Program. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“The challenges are intertwined; each deepens the others, in a geometric — and often generational — erosion of opportunity. So to be effective, the efforts to alleviate those challenges must be coordinated and mutually reinforcing. Everyone concerned with Delaware’s future needs to be involved.”

The statewide Task Force to End Childhood Hunger is the first model partnership recognized as a First Chance Delaware program.

Casey Family Programs provided the founding grant for First Chance Delaware and will continue to provide support through its First Spouse Initiative program.

“Making sure our children and families have the tools they need to thrive and be successful is vital,” Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long said in a statement. “The partnerships created by First Chance Delaware will help us identify gaps so that we can assist and provide for our children in so many areas.”

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