Milwaukee Brighter Futures is a network of people from Milwaukee organizations and neighborhoods who are committed to prevention and youth/family development strategies in Milwaukee.
Established in 1999, the network currently involves over 130 organizations in regular monthly meetings, work groups, and training initiatives, all centered on sharing best practices in youth, family, and neighborhood development.
Community Advocates, as the Milwaukee Brighter Futures Lead Agency, has brought together numerous existing networks and task forces to work collaboratively on building a strong community prevention system focusing on the issues of child abuse and neglect, teen pregnancy, youth violence, youth AODA issues, parenting and youth self-sufficiency.
The Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative has provided a community forum to identify “best practices” for youth-engagement, risky sexual behavior prevention, substance abuse prevention, child abuse and neglect prevention strategies, parenting support and family strengthening.
Additionally, new people and new organizations have come to the table to learn and to provide innovative activities, approaches and strategies, which enable others to connect and integrate some of these new approaches.
The Five Benchmarks
The Brighter Futures Initiative, as outlined in the Wisconsin State Statutes, sets five benchmarks for funded programs. The Initiative supports evidence-based, positive youth development and prevention strategies focusing on the following legislative outcomes:
Prevent and reduce the incidence of youth violence and other delinquent behavior;
Prevent and reduce the incidence of youth alcohol and other drug use and abuse;
Prevent and reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect;
Prevent and reduce the incidence of non-marital pregnancy and increase the use of abstinence to prevent non-marital pregnancy; and
Increase adolescent self-sufficiency by encouraging high school graduation, vocational preparedness, improved social and other interpersonal skills and responsible decision-making.
Milwaukee Brighter Futures is one of ten Wisconsin counties and reservations funded through this program. The state funding flows through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families' Office of Youth Services.
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