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2016 Education Meeting: Community Plan for Collective Impact 2017-2020

Improving the Lives of Children, Youth and Families

The June 8th meeting at Anne Arundel Community College featured Dr. Pam Brown’s presentation on Anne Arundel County’s Community Plan for Collective Impact (CPCI). Over 100 people were registered, 50% of whom were guests.

In the fall of 2015, Dr. Pam Brown, Executive Director of the Anne Arundel Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, presented the “2016 Poverty Amidst Plenty” report. Unlike Dr. Brown’s fall presentation, this presentation included a sense of optimism based on the collection of extensive data on needs and services and the development of strategies to address needs. Very much like Dr. Brown’s earlier presentation, she opened with rapid-fire sharing of information. 

The Community Plan for Collective Impact is lead by:

    • Governor Hogan’s vision for the State,
    • County Executive Steve Schuh’s vision for Anne Arundel County, and
    • Anne Arundel Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (AAPCYF), one of 24 local management boards across Maryland. It is completely self-funded, receiving no financial support from the County. “Poverty Amidst Plenty” is one of several reports sponsored by AAPCYF. 

The Governor’s Office for Children mirrors what AAPCYF does locally. 

The directive for the Community Plan is to identify the needs, determine the resources and gaps, and build on existing momentum to craft solutions. Since January 2016, Due East Partners’ Lauren Maddox and Bess Langbein have assisted in developing the plan. Due East Partners first interviewed 369 people in order to identify and plot all the resources across the County in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, etc.  The focus of the Plan is population-based: hungry children, disconnected youth, impact of incarceration and homeless youth 16 - 24 years old. Using this data, they then were able to identify gaps in services.

No single area of the community is a “shining star.”  Glen Burnie East and West and Brooklyn were assessed to have needs in every category. Annapolis is the only area of the County where all services are offered. There is need in Annapolis but resources exist. 

Fortunately, resources to serve hungry children are most numerous, so that population group will receive lower focus in the CPCI than the other three. Food, shelter and transportation are consistent needs across all four population groups. 

Interesting statistics:

    • There are 8,175 “Disconnected Youth” in Anne Arundel County, with the greatest number in North County. There is a 17% unemployment rate, significantly above the County’s overall 5% unemployment rate. Dr. Brown introduced Vernon, a young man she met in the summer of 2015 through her Youth Employment Partnership program. Vernon told the audience that he has learned how to dream, re-enrolled in AACC where he earned a 3.5 GPA and has decided that he’d like to be a surgeon. Dr. Brown hired Vernon as an intern to assist with many of the interviews with children. He has since been hired to work full-time to assist with kids. Vernon credited Dr. Brown’s mentoring as the most important reason for his success
    • Homeless Youth number 1,000 in the County and the number is rising. Of the 1,139 Maryland citizens incarcerated in State facilities, 50% have children. In Anne Arundel County alone, 440 children are impacted by 770 incarcerated parents.   
    •  Across the state, food deserts and food stamp usage are highest in Baltimore City. In Anne Arundel County, 3,000 children are fed breakfast and 4 million lunches are served in public schools each year.
Gap Analysis Strategies:
Not surprisingly, resource gaps matched the geography of poverty. So the initial priority of CPCI will be North County where efforts to meet basic needs, improve data collection and strengthen the existing system of care will require the most attention. An important strategy involves strengthening Community of Hope in Brooklyn Park that provides services to disconnected youth, homeless youth and children whose parents are incarcerated. CPCI will create a common data platform, focus on basic needs and hand-offs between service providers, add “super-connectors,” use a trauma lens (a common denominator) and create a community scorecard and platform to share results. The goal is to improve in areas such as stabilizing housing, employment/job training, health, etc.

Dr. Brown commented that her strategies and observations matched County Executive Steve Schuh’s. She said, “Mr. Schuh and I agree that we need to lift everyone up and we need to improve the pocket of poverty in North County. All decisions are informed by data.”  

The ultimate goal is to have fewer children and families living in poverty by 2020.  Yearly goals include the following:

2017: develop new programming, assemble data on priority populations, build up Community of Hope including plans for a Teen Drop-In Center, explore needs in South County, and identify additional funding.

2018: Launch a teen drop-in center at Community of Hope, expand the data platform, begin South County programming and secure additional funding.

2019: All programming to be focused on priority populations, data is shared, investment leads to impact and poverty is reduced.

A number of partners have been identified including private companies, not-for-profits, human service organizations, educational institutions and the County Executive. Dr. Brown invites individuals and organizations who are interested to get involved and work together.  The Guiding Coalition was created with representatives of each constituent group on both the user and provider sides. There will be many opportunities for people to get involved in effecting the Community Plan. Additional funding is anticipated from large foundations that recognize the power of coordinated outreach like this.

For more than 30 minutes, Dr. Brown answered a number of probing questions from the audience, including one about the privacy of information. She said that “Efforts to Outcomes” allows for state-level agencies and organizations to share information that is HIPPA-compliant. Dr. Brown offered that a big “win” would be community resource centers on a transportation line that serves the entire county, especially where there are great pockets of need. 

Linda Eggbeer closed with accolades to Dr. Brown for her work for Anne Arundel County.  Linda extended an invitation to Dr. Brown to speak again next year with an update on the first year results of the plan. 

Jenny Kottler, Member since 2011. 

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