Areas of Effort
In determining what kinds of programmatic issues to pursue funding for, CCS has identified its mission as follows:
“to improve the conditions of children, families and communities at the local level by promoting and encouraging coordination, integration and increased efficiency of local services and joint facilities use among cities, counties and schools in all California communities.”
Highlights of CCS’ efforts in the past include:
- Foster Youth. CCS worked with the National League of Cities and the Institute for Youth Families and Education to examine the role of municipal government in addressing the challenges of emancipating foster youth. Work products include:
- Exploring and Expanding Municipal Leadership for Transitioning Foster Youth, which analyzes current and potential roles for cities in particular but counties and schools as well in addressing the needs of youth as they age out of the foster care system.
- Our Children: Emancipating Foster Youth, which highlights the outcomes for youth who age out of the system and offers a set of recommended actions to improve the opportunities for former foster youth to succeed; and
- Foster Youth: We Can Make a Difference, which highlights five strategies to improve the circumstances of children in the foster care system. It also includes an extensive list of resources for further information.
- State Budget and Fiscal Reform Issues. Activities in this area have included:
- 2008 Summit: CCS convened a two-day summit at which leaders of the partner organizations discussed what cities, counties and schools were facing with the budget crisis. Foster care issues were identified as a key area for potential collective action.
- Task Force on State Budget and Fiscal Reform. Representatives from partner organizations met and developed a set of nine joint principles for state budget and fiscal reform.
- 2009 Summit. Over 570 local government leaders gathered in Sacramento to examine the task force’s draft principles and set priorities for action for state budget and fiscal reform.
- Children’s Health Through Physical Activity and Nutrition
- Childhood Obesity Awareness. CCS developed Healthy Children, Healthy Communities Community Action Guide as a roadmap for communities wanting to create a collaborative effort around childhood obesity. Another work product produced in collaboration with CSBA is Building Healthy Communities: A School Leader’s Guide to Collaboration and Community
- Joint Use of Facilities. CCS developed and presented workshops and a manual on “Stretching Community Dollars” in the context of promoting local collaboration. This was followed by a task force convened to better understand issues of joint use and school siting.
- Safe Routes to Schools. The Department of Public Health’s California Active Communities program subcontracted with CCS Partnership for a three-year project to develop resources to support local officials interested in planning and funding efforts to provide safe walking and bicycling routes to schools. The purpose of the project is to provide resources, training and support for communities in applying for and implementing federal and state Safe Routes to School projects. CCS completed work on the first year of the project, which includes data collection and completion of case studies on communities that have received and implemented state and federal grants. Work over following two years included identifying how cities, counties and schools can leverage a range of funding sources in addition to dedicated state and federal funds for Safe Routes to Schools programs to improve walking and bicycling options connecting schools and their communities. The “Creating Safe Walking and Bicycling Communities: Safe Routes to School Decision Maker’s Toolkit” is available online: www.ca-ilg.org/SRTS-toolkit.
- CCS Partnership Awards (2005-Present). The program operates in conjunction with the awards programs of each of the partner associations.
- Community Schools Partnerships Activities in this area include:
- Production of a toolkit for local officials to understand and leverage collaborative efforts among government, non-profit, business and community groups to support needs of children and families.
- Proposing and coordinating conference sessions on collective impact strategies among local government, non-profit, business and community groups collaborating to support children and families.
- Through the awards programs of the three partner associations, recognizing achievements among agencies using partnerships to enhance services and supports for children and families.