A team of child abuse prevention stakeholders in Santa Barbara County (including CAPC, CWS, and other agencies) have begun a joint planning process intended to significantly reduce child abuse and neglect—by putting together a winning application to attend an exclusive statewide summit, assembling a team of collaborative partners, and holding a fruitful advance meeting between CAPC and CWS. Next stop: the statewide summit.
A coalition of statewide agencies—including the California Welfare Directors Association’s Prevention Cabinet, the California Department of Social Services’ Office of Child Abuse Prevention, and the Strategies 2.0 training network—is working to elevate primary child maltreatment prevention strategies across the state. As part of this effort, the coalition has planned a Prevention Summit (to be held in conjunction with the International Child Maltreatment Conference Jan. 28-Feb. 1 near San Diego).
The summit is intended to spur a leap forward in child abuse prevention and family well-being, by convening cross-sector teams from select counties who are prepared to deepen their collaboration and commit to a shared strategy. By participating in the summit, counties can develop or strengthen a public-private partnership for strengthening families, begin or strengthen a county-wide prevention plan, and commit to an ongoing collaborative process with clear action steps.
On November 1, 2018, counties were invited to submit an application to attend the summit. Selection criteria included cross-sector collaboration, leadership commitment, and geographic and size diversity. Of California’s 58 counties, 33 applied and 22 were selected—including Santa Barbara County.
Counties were required to identify a team of up to 10 collaborative partners to attend the Summit together, to include decision-makers from across the spectrum of agencies involved in child abuse prevention. Our team includes Barb Finch (CAPC), Amy Krueger (CWS), Ashleigh Erving (Family Service Agency), Maria Chesley (Family Resource Centers), Mari Ortega-Garcia (First 5), Kelley Barragan (Public Health), Florene Bednersh (County Education Office), Cesar Arroyo (Community Action Commission), Adolfo Garcia (CALM/Front Porch), and Arcelia Sencion (People Helping People).
Once assembled, the team was required to meet to review data and reports on their county’s current status, prevention goals, child and family well-being; and define their desired objectives and outcomes going forward. Rather than meeting alone, the team took the opportunity to hold a joint meeting together with CAPC and CWS stakeholders. A good mix of about 40 people attended that January 17, 2019 meeting. Attendees reported starting the meeting feeling curious and interested, and ending it feeling inspired and hopeful.
The team will then attend the summit—which is expected to provide inspiring examples of successful prevention strategies and collaborations in California, and opportunities to learn from state and federal policy leaders about their plans and priorities for prevention. The summit will also provide the county teams with professional facilitation from Strategies 2.0 and OCAP staff, to help them as they develop their county action plans. After the summit is over and the action plan is created, the team will convene again within three months, to review progress and confirm the structure for ongoing collaboration. A facilitator from the summit will be available to help plan the agenda and facilitate the discussion.
Stay tuned for more updates after the Summit! Meanwhile, you can find more information (including presentation slides) here.