In October, the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships met to discuss draft recommendations that came out of its initial meeting in July. These ideas and strategies are the foundation of a final report of recommendations that will be delivered to the President early next year. These recommendations will help the Administration more effectively partner with faith-based and neighborhood groups to serve Americans in need.
The President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships is an important component of our office. This Council is a group of 25 individuals – from both diverse religious and secular organizations – who provide advice on how the federal government can more effectively partner with community and faith-based groups. You can learn more about the Advisory Council on our website.
The Advisory Council is working to identify areas in which innovative partnerships between government and faith-based and community organizations will yield results in serving individuals, families and communities. The Advisory Council has created Taskforces, which are comprised of Council members and other experts in each area.
The six Taskforces are:
At their first meeting in July, the Advisory Council heard presentations from Administration officials on each of the six Taskforce areas. Each of the Taskforces described the general categories of recommendations they would be working on for approval by the full council.
Then Advisory Council and Taskforce members worked to identify where needs are most critical in their areas and recommend how improved and innovative partnerships between government and faith-based and community groups can help advance solutions.
Some of the specific areas of focus include, strengthening the legal and constitutional footing of faith-based and government partnerships, scaling up partnerships to provide streamlined access to benefits, engaging faith-based and community groups in greening buildings and promoting inter-religious cooperation through service.
In its October meeting , the Advisory Council met to present the draft recommendations from each Taskforce. This process included giving and receiving feedback from the Council on the draft recommendations.
Each Taskforce is working to incorporate that feedback as they work toward producing a final report of recommendations to the White House in February 2010.
Joshua DuBois is the Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships