The Partnership is designed to facilitate and sustain an integrated service delivery system of prevention and evidence-based early intervention programs for children and youth in Cayuga County, New York.
Federal grant funding served as a catalyst for the community to reassess how it wanted to address some of its pressing social problems. Before the Partnership activities were initiated, there was little collaboration between child-serving public agencies in any systemic, ongoing, or sustainable form. As part of a Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant, agency directors initiated a wide-ranging community assessment and a review of programs to address community deficits and to strengthen assets.
As part of this process, agency leaders came to recognize more explicitly that the children they were each serving were often the same. These children were accessing, at one point of entry after another, many of the various public and community-based services systems. Agency leaders acknowledged that service delivery was often undermined by being insufficient, discontinuous, and rarely either evidence-based or routinely evaluated.
In creating the Partnership, the public agency directors planned to build a sustainable form of local governance that was data driven and thoroughly collaborative in nature. This effort spread from strategic planning to sustainability. They believed that by changing both human behavior and organizational infrastructure, this model of collaboration would allow them to serve the interests of children across systems.