4251.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 5:06 PM

Abstract #14095

Setting a Health and Welfare Agenda for the Children of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harold Cox, MSSW1, Virginia Rall Chomitz, PhD1, Lynn Schoeff, MEd1, Ellen Semenoff, Esq2, and Bobbie D'Alessandro, MEd3. (1) Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Public Health Department, 119 Windsor Street, Ground Level, Cambridge, MA 02139, 617-3810, hcox@challiance.org, (2) Department of Human Service Programs, Cambridge Public Health Department, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, (3) Cambridge Public Schools, 159 Thorndike Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Background: Cambridge launched a citywide effort to work collaboratively on strategic goals that will improve the lives of children. The Agenda for Children (AFC) began as a joint effort among several City Departments and Agencies to reduce duplication of planning efforts. Since then, the AFC developed inter-agency and departmental partnering with a high level of community support and engagement. The Kid's Council, an interdisciplinary group of elected officials, residents, and providers was charged with selecting goals and serves in an advisory coapacity. Approach: Several approaches were used to develop goals. Community focus groups discussed several previously identified priority areas. Other community groups provided more open information on children's health and welfare. Approximately 650 demographically representative community members participated. This community information was analyzed for emergent themes and added to other sources of local, state, and national information. THe nine priority areas developed were prioritized and selected according to a set of criteria. The goals selected will focus our collaborative efforts for several years. Lessons Learned: While challenging at times, the ultimate rewards of working collaboratively and collegially at the department and community level has developed a citywide infrastructure and support network that impacts City work beyond the AFC project.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Describe how both public and private sectors in Cambridge collaborated to develop the Agenda for Children. 2. Describe the challenges of using community process in goal setting. 3. Describe the various approaches Cambridge used to develop priority goals for children in the City

Keywords: Community Health Planning, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA