Upon reviewing results of their Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a core management team in a California neighborhood was concerned; the data indicated high incidents of binge drinking among freshmen and sophomores at their high school. Although the school had a tough discipline policy on this issue and introduced a number of universal substance abuse prevention programs in the past, this did not decrease the percentage of students suspended for alcohol-related incidences according to YRBS survey data.
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Systemic Change and Integration
Systemic change is a process of creating a new structure for the whole system that affects all entities to achieve successful outcomes. This process requires all systems to create a common vision, as well as goals and objectives, and to collaboratively integrate these into everyday practice.
SS/HS strives to create safe and supportive schools and communities. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to change existing systems to better coordinate multiple service agencies and programs to improve outcomes for all youth. Systems change and integration is a natural product of collaborative activities.
St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) – Canton, NY
In 2006, the St. Lawrence–Lewis BOCES Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) program launched an integrated approach that addressed school violence by a) developing mentoring programs, b) promoting school-based nutrition and fitness, c) providing school-based mental health services, and d) initiating the administration of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey every other year.
Systemic change occurs when multiple partners work toward a common vision and goals to improve outcomes for children and youth.
For example, a community might analyze pre-Kindergaren (pre-K) readiness–testing data and find that children living in rural areas are not ready for pre-K programs. Additional analysis could show that child-care centers, or other readiness programs that are often offered to children in more urban settings, are not available in that area and that this could be a factor.
Assists in deciphering where organizations intersect in areas such as target population; services budgeted for youth, and governance power. The tool includes steps for completing the tool before the partnerships are formed and also suggestions for how to use this tool with existing partnerships (This content is used with permission from EDC, Inc. All rights reserved).
Describes the five levels of partnership and provides a checklist to gauge and guide your partnership’s progress towards best practices in collaborative leadership during each developmental stage of a program’s implementation (This content is used with permission from EDC, Inc. All rights reserved).
Helps map resources to identify gaps in programming, duplication of services, and programs that may not be producing desired outcomes. Tips for thinking about potential partners and resource use are provided along with a checklist to identify areas that may need improvement (This content is used with permission from EDC, Inc. All rights reserved).
Safe Schools / Healthy Students
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