Working for county’s children

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Shelby County Children’s Policy Council brings to the table a network of professionals, agencies and resources whose main focus is improving the lives of children of all ages in our county.

In times of disaster, these agencies provide mental health counseling and networking capabilities to fill needs that are necessary during disaster recovery.

Statewide, Children’s Policy Councils were mandated by legislation in the early 2000s as an outgrowth of the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council that was in place throughout the state.

Through this legislation, the focus was broadened from providing services for adjudicated youth to providing services in a coordinated manner to all children from birth to age 19.

Judge James R. “Jim” Kramer is the chair for the Shelby County Children’s Policy Council, and Barbara Williams is the council’s coordinator. Legislation defined certain members who should officially belong to the council, but we choose to include anyone or organization that has an interest in the betterment of life for our children.

The Shelby County Children’s Policy Council meets bi-monthly to receive and share new program information for children and families, report on the valuable work of our committees, network with other professionals and to discuss current issues of concern regarding the well-being of our children.

Once a year, we prepare a report for the governor and legislature on the needs of the children in our county and the accomplishments we have made in filling gaps in services. We select the top three issues we feel most need our focus for the coming year and then devise plans to accomplish those goals.

Shelby County has received the No. 1 ranking for child health and well-being according to the VOICES For Alabama’s Kids “Kids Count Book” data survey since the rankings began in the late 1990s.

We are extremely proud of the work and collaboration of our members for the betterment of life for our children in Shelby County. If you have an interest in working to improve the lives of our children or attending our meetings, please contact Barbara Williams at 205-669-3831. Visit us at

Barbara Williams is the coordinator of the Shelby County Children’s Policy Council. The Children’s Policy Council is a member of the Shelby County VOAD.