241302 Child wellbeing as a framework for community policy development

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Michael Schmidt , Center for Multimedia Arts, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Marian Levy, DrPH, RD , School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Julie Coffey, MS , Shelby County Office of Early Childhood and Youth, Memphis, TN
SHELBY Child Impact Assessment (SHELBY) is an initiative by the governments of Shelby County and Memphis, Tennessee to support child and youth-focused decision making in policy development and proposal procedures. The county's elected leadership commissioned researchers from the University of Memphis to develop a Web-based software application—SHELBY (Safety, Health, Education, and Land-use decisions on Behalf of children and Youth)—for producing Child Impact Statements on county resolutions and ordinances. Research-based knowledge helps elected officials, government decision-makers, and citizen boards develop supporting documentation to accompany policy proposals, thereby informing policy decisions. The Web application contains decision scenarios and five sections of prompts and guides that help elucidate the connections between child well-being and actions being considered. Users receive a unique user name and pin. Information resources, along with the planning and decision-making tools on the site, provide a platform to develop or evaluate policy initiatives. SHELBY provides data and expert knowledge on child well-being from trusted state and national sources, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Project, US Census Bureau, and state departments of Education and Health. Data are displayed in easy to read charts, graphs, and GIS maps that can be attached into a report and shared online or via email. Child Impact Statements center on conditions and consequences—short term and long—that affect health, housing, safety, education, employment, and the quality of natural and built environments. Consequently, their potential impact is community-wide. A ten-city pilot is being planned to test for efficacy and policy impact.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the use of child impact statements to inform policy for improved community health

Keywords: Community Planning, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the web-based software application SHELBY described in the abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.