By: Scott Orsey
Promoting the optimal healthy development of children. That’s what we do here at the Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health. It sounds fairly straightforward, right? Getting kids programs and services to help them achieve their best outcomes. However, in reality, accomplishing that mission is a tall order.
Here at the Office, we are dedicated not only to serving as a critical community resource, but we’re also dedicated to cultivating innovative and cost-effective solutions that build a stronger support system for children and their families.
In carrying out our mission, we take a three-pronged approach: strengthening existing community-based programs, facilitating synergies among programs, and serving as an innovation incubator for promising approaches that improve short- and long-term health outcomes for children.
Here’s a closer look at those areas:
- Strengthening the effectiveness of existing community-oriented initiatives – We currently cultivate a variety of community-based programs and provide support to those programs in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, evaluation and the development of strong performance measurement. For example, our programs use our tools to help set goals and manage their activities such that they expand and strengthen their impact.
- Facilitating synergies among programs – We encourage, initiate and facilitate collaborative projects among community-based programs with similar missions and overlapping target populations. For example, with the Office as a facilitator, the Center for Care Coordination, the Injury Prevention Center and the Connecticut Children’s Healthy Homes Program collaborated to develop and present a training webinar for primary care providers on home safety for children with autism.
- Serving as an innovation incubator for the development of promising approaches that show potential for statewide and national expansion – While we have taken the lead in designing and supporting innovative responses to opportunities and gaps in the child health system, we actively identify and encourage innovators across a wide array of sectors. Mid-Level Developmental Assessment serves as an example. That model, developed by the Village for Families and Children, provides expedient assessments of children with behavioral or developmental concerns and connects those children to either community-based therapeutic services or a higher-level evaluation, if needed.
By engaging in all three of these important activities, we cover the full range of assistance that innovators and program leaders need to initiate, strengthen and grow the impact of their work.