Study of Child Well-BeingIn June of 2005, following a very successful auction at the 2004 wine festival, the trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) engaged the Lastinger Center for Learning at the University of Florida College of Education to perform an independent study of the needs of the children in Collier County. The eight month study, the first of its kind for Collier County, identified significant gaps in several service areas, including Early Learning, After School, Dental and Medical health care. Its findings were subsequently used to help the NCEF trustees make informed and empirically based philanthropic investment strategies, with the goal of erasing these gaps. The 2005 “Study of Child Well Being in Collier County” remains an important reference for all children’s not for profits in Collier County.
In 2010, NCEF again commissioned the Lastinger Center for Learning at the University Of Florida College Of Education to update the demographics from the 2005 “Study of Child Well Being.” The study, “A Study of Child Well Being: A 2010 Update” was published in December 2010. This study identified the current conditions and needs of children in Collier County, described and evaluated the overall children's service delivery system, reported on the community impact of NCEF's philanthropic investments to date and identified new potentially high yielding investments which align with the guiding principles of NCEF. This study also noted the importance of identifying the growing needs of children and families who have been affected by the recent recession. This awareness pointed to the need for NCEF to learn more about how the community needs have changed. As the problems facing the county's family's interlock, so must the programs that help them. To this end and in response, the "Comprehensive Plan for Collier County" was conducted.