On January 4, 2012, Governor Jack Markell created through Executive Order 33 the Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnerships. This new Council recognizes the significance of faith-based organizations in addressing many significant social needs, and will work to establish partnerships between government agencies and faith-based organizations to help fight poverty, expand access to health care, promote education and improve public safety.
“Regardless of denomination or geography, in every corner of our state, someone has heard and answered the call to serve their neighbor,” Markell said. “Members of faith-based organizations offer up tens of thousands of volunteer hours and countless resources to improve our communities. The Council should serve as a place for those organizations to turn to help harness this potential and this power. It’s about giving groups a chance – if they wish – to work together to make an even greater difference.”
Specifically, the executive order provides the Council the following powers, duties and functions:
- Work closely with faith-based and community-based groups, charitable organizations, private foundations, voluntary associations, educational institutions, and other non-profit service organizations to promote volunteerism and community service;
- Develop partnerships between faith-based groups and executive branch agencies that will facilitate the missions of those organizations in areas such as education, social services, health, and housing;
- Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among faith-based organizations whereby such organizations can work together to improve delivery of services in the community;
- Promote innovation and model programs and initiatives, and share best practices among faith-based groups and organizations;
- Coordinate Council activities with those administered by private, faith-based and governmental organizations to ensure that services are rendered efficiently and that they are not duplicated;
- Develop sustainable funding through private sources to support the objectives of the Council and the collaborative efforts to which Delaware faith-based organizations are devoted.