Program history

You can see the history of Minneapolis becoming a Child Friendly City.
February 2024

UNICEF USA Approves Minneapolis' Local Action Plan

UNICEF USA officially recognizes City of Minneapolis as the second Child Friendly City in the country.

  • This marks the completion of the Child Friendly City Initiative (CFCI) cycle that included:
    • A community assessment
    • Creation and implementation of a Local Action Plan
    • Third-party evaluation
  • To celebrate the CFCI designation, we gathered in the Public Service Building for a press conference. Speakers included:
    • Mayor Jacob Frey
    • Former Commissioner of Health, Gretchen Musicant
    • Commissioner of Health, Damon Chaplin
    • Minneapolis School Board member, Kim Ellison
    • UNICEF USA President & CEO, Michael Nyenhuis

See the press conference

November 2023

Minneapolis hosts a CFCI convening

The Engagement Committee organized a community gathering of about 50 people.

  • They discussed the progress of CFCI and gathered input from partners.
  • Minneapolis Public Schools hosted the event. Keynote speakers included Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Interim Superintendent Rochelle Cox.
October 2023

CFCI parent focus groups held at early childhood centers

  • CFCI held two focus groups with about 50 parents at Joyce Preschool and La Creche Early Childhood Center.
  • Parents shared their experiences and perceptions of safety.

See the summary report

Summer 2023

Minneapolis conducts Community Safety focus groups and produces report

  • Three CFCI Urban Scholars engaged over 100 Minneapolis young people. They asked about their experiences and perceptions of safety.
  • The Urban Scholar project leads presented their findings to three stakeholder groups.

Read the summary report

Spring 2023

Minneapolis pilots program and improves emergency plan

Minneapolis pilots Youth On Boards program:

  • Six young people from the Minneapolis Youth Congress piloted Youth On Boards. They served on the:
    • Transgender Equity Council
    • Northside Greenzone
    • Public Health Advisory Committee

Minneapolis improves the City’s Emergency Management plans:

  • We changed the plans to better respond to children and families.
  • We increased communications about emergency preparedness for children and caregivers. This included:
    • A flyer in four languages
    • A newsletter for school-age children and caregivers
  • We developed Ready Camps for youth and families about preparing for an emergency.
February 2023

UNICEF USA Approves Minneapolis' Local Action Plan

  • UNICEF USA President and CEO, Michael Nyenhuis, visits Minneapolis to celebrate the Local Action Plan.
  • Minneapolis is chosen as a CFCI candidate.
November 2021

Minneapolis declares World Youth and Children's Rights Day

  • Mayor Jacob Frey declares November 20 to be World Youth and Children's Rights Day in Minneapolis.
  • The date marks the 32-year anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
November 2021

Minneapolis launches Reach Out and Read partnership

We provided families with books during well-child visits.

  • Books included:
    • I Have a Right to Be A Child by Alain Serres
    • Every Child a Song by Nichola Davies
  • Current partners:
    • Hennepin Healthcare Pediatric Clinic
    • Hennepin Mobile Clinic
    • Broadway Family Practice

These providers have given 700 books to families.

August 2020

UNICEF USA launches the Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the United States

  • Minneapolis is one of six cities to pilot the initiative.
  • City officials and community leaders analyze the well-being of children in our city. They include input from children and youth.

Read the announcement of the launch

February 2020

Minneapolis becomes a CFCI pilot city

  • We sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF USA.
  • This makes us a candidate to become a Child Friendly City.
  • Those in attendance at the signing include:
    • Mayor Jacob Frey
    • City Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham
    • Youth representing the Minneapolis Youth Congress (MYC)
    • Other city officials and partners
May 2019

UNICEF USA hosts Child Friendly Cities conference

  • Minneapolis sends representatives to the conference.
  • The City begins work to become a Child Friendly City and partners with the following groups to make it happen:
    • Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
    • Minneapolis Parks and Recreation
    • Community volunteers
June 1996

UNICEF USA launches Child Friendly Cities Initiative globally

The initiative uses a child rights-based framework to build a roadmap for establishing cities and communities around the world that are more:

  • Safe
  • Just
  • Equitable
  • Inclusive
  • Child-responsive

Read about the Child Friendly Cities Initiative

November 1989

Minneapolis joins the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • World leaders ratify an agreement that supports the human rights of children.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser signs on as an early advocate.

Read the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

What a Child Friendly City Is

See what it means to be part of the UNICEF USA Child Friendly City Initiative (CFCI).

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Contact us

Child Friendly City

Sarah Schiele
Minneapolis Health Department


Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415