public funding of faith-based and community organizations, some barriers still remain. Many of the barriers frequently faced are at the state and local level. It is a critical task to "educate" state and local officials that it is acceptable for them to partner with 501(c)(3) organizations and provide services to the most vulnerable in the community. The faith based community must grapple with the fact that the particular beneficiaries of such services may be neighborhood youth and adults who are not nor may never become members of the congregation.
Many states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions who seek assistance for at-risk youth would benefit from the involvement of faith based organizations in developing and implementing effective programs for juveniles. America benefits from uncompromising leaders who fight for every single child and will not accept anything less than excellence from organizations serving those children. Many of the affected youth live in impoverished families or neighborhoods, come from single parent backgrounds, and/or are confronted with drugs and/or violence on a daily basis. Priority areas such as child sexual exploitation, female delinquency, gangs, and truancy need a total commitment from the entire community and may offer the greatest potential for combating delinquency, reducing the victimization of children, and improving the juvenile justice system.
Faith based organizations demonstrate the power of private institutions, both for-profit and non-profit, to create a good society, as well as foster an understanding of an appreciation for the limits of conscious planning in addressing complex social issues. Their involvement in youth related issues help cultivate policies and attitudes that link individual actions to personal outcomes.
By involving faith and community based organizations it also serves to reverse the public perception that government intervention is the most appropriate or efficient solution to most problems. However, when the private sector cannot effectively provide a service needed by most citizens, then the provision of that service should be considered an appropriate activity for government. Working together churches, synagogues, mosques, businesses, and governments can help assure that proper help is provided to those individuals within our community who legitimately cannot meet their own basic human needs. Individuals, not government, can provide children with what they most need--love and caring. Visit my website if I can help your faith or community based organization at
--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Cleveland, TN..
He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit his website at: www.policyexperts.net