Back in February MCCOY’s EIP team hosted a very successful community roundtable to begin to the lay the foundation for the creation of the EIP strategic plan. The plan, Early Intervention and Prevention: Building a Foundation for Family and Community Success, was launched in June of 2010. During the community roundtable a group of community stakeholders in attendance, including school personnel, students, front-line staff, health educators, and many others, focused on the following topics:
• Discuss the concept of a well‐functioning, coordinated early intervention system that promotes efficiency and avoids duplication.
• What ideal purpose or benefit does a well‐functioning, coordinated and efficient early intervention system provide a community?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current early intervention system in Marion County? Is the current system coordinated, efficient and non‐duplicative?
Here is some of what was said:
• Our target population is going to self‐identify only when they’re in the crisis. We need to figure out how to access these folks with services before they’re in the crisis situation.
• We need a one‐stop shop. Shouldn’t make this so difficult for a parent trying to find help.
• Have you ever called for help, and you get the receptionist and you get passed down the line to many different people until you get to the last one and you never get any help at all? We need to make sure if we’re sending people to certain agencies that there is help, the need is met at the end of the line.
• We need to work together to solve this problem.
• 2‐1‐1 doesn’t list all the agencies. I don’t have any resources for other nonprofits where I could refer my own clients.
• We need to clarify what EIP services are; we need to understand who else is out there and what everyone else is doing. We need a clearinghouse.
• I think one of the reasons it doesn’t come together is because we’re all competing for the same funding. If there were some way we could all apply for funding together… lead organization with partner organizations that provide services.
• We need a big, master list.
• How do we get the services to our target population that may not have access to the internet?
• How can we get to the folks who are unaware about the possibilities and the choices available?
• Partnership and collaboration are the main themes
• How can we equip all providers with a centralized, comprehensive repository of information?
• A Database with centralized information to make sure we don’t duplicate. What you find in 2‐1‐1 you might not find in the EASY book. We need a comprehensive database.
The second edition of “We Can Do Better- Child Abuse Deaths in America,” released in 2010 tells a grim story about the 1,740 children who died as a result of abuse or neglect in our nation in 2008. It talks about the harsh reality that current child protection systems, charged with taking the lead on protecting our children, are stretched too thin as a harsh economy has resulted in many states slashing child protection spending at unprecedented rates, thus, putting more children at risk.
The EIP Initiative aims to change these grim facts for Marion County’s children by focusing efforts on preventing child abuse and neglect and placing responsibility for protecting children on ALL adults, particularly those who serve youth and families and have the opportunity to prevent and/or intervene early.
Folks in attendance at the EIP Community Roundtable made it clear that having resources that are accessible to both families and service providers is essential to protecting children from harm in our community. To that end, the EIP strategic plan includes a strategy, Strategy #3: Accessible, Accurate Resources, focused on integrating current systems that provide valuable information and resources to families and referring agencies. The implementation steps for the strategy are:
• Form a task force to lead the project.
• Convene local funders and database providers to discuss concerns shared during the community assessment process and determine appropriate next steps.
• Identify funding streams to assist in the capacity building of an integrated system.
• Develop a comprehensive plan resulting in the coordination of currently existing databases to ensure that the most comprehensive information is accessible.
• Promote the usage of the resource database to professionals, service organizations and to the community at-large.
Additionally, MCCOY’s EIP staff continues to gather information regarding current assets and gaps in availability and accessibility for early intervention and prevention services for children and families in Marion County. To let us know what you think, please take 5-10 minutes to complete a brief survey by clicking on the following link:
http://www.survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e30sfei0gdxfqp95/start(if you are a youth serving professional) or
http://www.survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e317lpecgebrpjq8/start (if you are a community member not providing direct services to youth.).
To learn more about the EIP Initiative or to get involved in implementation of the EIP Strategic Plan, please contact Shanna Malott at 317-921-1233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.