Partnering with our Community
The community is growing rapidly. In 2007, there were 192,309 children
ages 0-5 who lived in San Bernardino County, comprising about 9.4% of the total
population, and their numbers and needs are increasing*. In response to the challenges
and opportunities confronting our children, First 5 San Bernardino called for an
updated analysis of its Strategic Plan in order to ensure that First 5 programs
continue to have a meaningful impact.
To accomplish this task, the Commission convened community leaders
to thoroughly analyze the existing strategic plan. These leaders of the Strategic
Analysis Advisory Group represent key voices in the community: public health, behavioral
health, early education, faith-based communities, non profits, and public agencies
(see text box for Strategic Analysis Advisory Group members). They met every month
for 6 months with the task of strengthening and refining the focus of the existing
Strategic Plan. The group intensively reviewed the results of existing cluster areas
and their associated strategies, the Commission’s allocation patterns, and opportunities
for strengthening existing approaches to ensure that future investments made by
First 5 San Bernardino are responsive, deliberate, and diligent in facilitating
lasting change in the community for the youngest of San Bernardino’s citizens. Guiding
this process were the core principles and values of the Commission (see sidebar)
and the following considerations:
- Funding should be focused on areas of continued high need as well as targeted areas
- As applicable, each strategy should be viewed in light of a tiered approach:
- Population based: a general approach that could be used with families that are not
in immediate distress
- Selected: a more specific approach for families that are at risk
- Indicated: a specific approach for families already experiencing negative consequences
- As much as possible, funding should link existing systems of care that support young
children and their families
- Each strategy should take into account barriers to accessing services
- All strategies should be viewed in light of funding cuts and reductions to ensure
that supplantation does not occur.
As the Commission begins to implement the refinements in the strategic
plan, there will be continued adherence to the established core values:
- Integrity and Accountability: The Commission and staff will be open, fair, equitable
and transparent with one another, the community, and funded partner agencies. Will
continually inform the community of progress and serve as a resource for information
on children prenatal to age five.
- Inclusive and Responsive: The Commission and staff will continually work to ensure
the inclusion of diverse communities and will strive to engage, listen, and respect
the ideas and advice of First 5 stakeholders.
- Impact and Outcomes: The Commission and staff will identify investment opportunities
to ensure positive outcomes for young children and their families. Will continually
evaluate effectiveness and pursue strategies that will make a unique and lasting
contribution to San Bernardino County.
- Leadership: The Commission staff will be proactive in creating positive change by
serving as a catalyst for coordinating and integrating existing services.
(accessed August 4, 2008)