In January 2019, in partnership with the California Office of Child Abuse Prevention, the Department of Social Services, the County Welfare Directors Association, Strategies 2.0 co-hosted a Child Abuse Prevention Summit in San Diego. In our newsletter and on our website in coming months, we will be featuring the amazing work of some of the county teams who attended.
Yuba County is ready for results.
“Our county has ranked very low on health outcomes. This year we were 53rd out of 58 in California—pretty far down—on all health indicators,” laments Cathy LeBlanc, Executive Director at Camptonville Community Partnerships.
Ms. LeBlanc and her colleagues have recognized this challenge for decades and have built their capacity to collaborate and align their work to push for solutions, from the formation of the Yuba County Children’s Wellness and Child Abuse Prevention Council (YCCC) in the 90’s, through a shared effort to address the Social Determinants of Health with a Board of Supervisors initiated ad-hoc committee, to joining of forces to support young people through the Displaced Youth Multi-Disciplinary Team (a current work group of the YCCC).
Now a new milestone has been reached. On July 10th, the YCCC officially recognized the formation of a new Prevention Network, which will bring together stakeholders to focus action on preventing child abuse in the county.
Building on the lessons and successes of past collaboration, the shared will to meet the county’s challenges moved forward in earnest this past January, at the Child Abuse Prevention Summit in San Diego.
According to Elizabeth Corniel, Program Specialist at CWS, “The summit was very inspirational, with the various presentations and having the opportunity to hear how other counties are collaborating.” Along with inspiration, the Yuba delegation came away with a clear focus for action: developing a cross-sector Child Abuse Prevention Network that would align efforts and work toward a shared vision of prevention.
A core group committed to come together every two weeks to hammer out all of the structures that will be needed for a sustained and results-focused Network: mission, vision, guiding principles, decision-making rules.
Their efforts could easily have stalled out in May, when Karleen Jakowski, the initial project lead for the county, took a position elsewhere. But a clear mission and a shared drive to¸ in Cathy LeBlanc’s words, “get stuff done” kept the momentum going and produced the credible plan that the Yuba CW-CAPC sanctioned on July 10th.
The task of the newly formed Yuba Prevention Network, according its founding Agreements and Guidelines, will be to develop “an inclusive, voluntary association of individuals from the Yuba County community, with representation from government agencies, education agencies, community based organizations, businesses, parents, faith-based groups, and others interested in improving the quality of life within the community.”
Ms. Corniel explains, “By taking the time to create the Prevention Network Agreements and Guideline document, we will have established a structure that will allow the momentum from the summit to continue.” With that structure, and the mutual commitment these leaders fostered in creating it, Yuba County is poised to realize real and sustained change for its families and children.