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The Larry King Center for Building Children’s Futures Laura Y. Clark 1, M.A., Ryan P. Kilmer 2, Ph.D., James R. Cook 2, Ph.D., and Brett A. Loftis 1, J.D.

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Presentation on theme: "The Larry King Center for Building Children’s Futures Laura Y. Clark 1, M.A., Ryan P. Kilmer 2, Ph.D., James R. Cook 2, Ph.D., and Brett A. Loftis 1, J.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Larry King Center for Building Children’s Futures Laura Y. Clark 1, M.A., Ryan P. Kilmer 2, Ph.D., James R. Cook 2, Ph.D., and Brett A. Loftis 1, J.D. 1 Council for Children’s Rights, Charlotte, NC 2 University of North Carolina at Charlotte 1

2 Today’s Presentation History of Charlotte’s initiatives for children Roles of the Larry King Center Selected Accomplishments Current initiatives & staffing Evaluation of the LKC Partnership with UNC Charlotte Challenges & Opportunities

3 For nearly three decades, Charlotte has attempted to prioritize children’s needs and create plans to address those needs –Children’s Summits (1980s and 1990s) –Blue Print for Children (late 1990s) –Core Values for Children (2000) –United Agenda for Children (2004) –United Way prioritization process (2007) History of Charlotte’s Children’s Initiatives

4 Past Community Efforts… Identified core community issues that warrant attention to ensure children are safe, healthy, and educated Created reports that heightened awareness of children’s issues Stimulated desire in the community to take action

5 They failed to develop the necessary infrastructure to drive change…. No single point of accountability for developing strategies to change public policy Disjointed engagement and education of the community about children’s issues No collection and dissemination of data to help inform decision making No ‘driver’ for the work to create change at the overall community level But…

6 Roles of the Larry King Center Catalyst for Change Research & Evaluation Public Policy Strategic Planning Public Relations & Awareness

7 To improve programming and outcomes for children and families, the Center works to –Bridge the science-practice gap by collaborating with providers and researchers –Connect local agencies with research resources –Identify research-based practices to implement locally –Identify systemic issues to target via advocacy and community-building efforts –Use data and evaluation research to inform decisions regarding training, the allocation of funds, community practices, and policy ‘ Connecting the Dots’: Selected Key Objectives

8 Role Descriptions In-house activities Develop annual policy agenda and identify strategies to move agenda forward Work directly with policymakers to shift legislation and other policies to support LKC activities Convene stakeholders to speak as one voice to policymakers Provide policy support to planning activities Public policy Public awareness/ Community engagement Research & data Strategic planning & convening In-house activities Build a research repository around children’s issues, including evidence-based practices Develop community structure and relationships to increase use of research in decision making Build community capacity for effective program evaluation Manage evaluation of LKC; ensure reporting to stakeholders Support planning, policy, and awareness roles with relevant research In-house activities Support planning process – Internal project manager: Create the plan – External project manager: Provide a draft plan or planning template Incorporate evidence-based practices in strategies Keep stakeholders bought in and informed Work behind the scenes to assure progress, identify obstacles, and provide solutions Coordinate LKC roles Support process tracking Facilitate meetings Create or manage budget In-house activities Develop relationships with key stakeholders to support work of LKC Educate and engage community around LKC activities: – Actively participate in existing community forums – Leverage focused partner communications to target key populations Engage media to influence policymaking Develop and support community governance structure Host community forums related to LKC activities

9 Roles of the Larry King Center Example: Free/Reduced School Lunch Policy Researched the number of children impacted by the problem Convened group of community partners to address issue Wrote new school policy to allow students to continue to receive hot lunch Utilized media outlets to raise awareness of issue

10 Initial Priority Areas Improve school readiness Reduce the incidence and impact of child abuse and neglect Increase access to and utilization of quality health & mental health services

11 11 Intermediate outcomes A Mecklenburg County where all children grow up safe, healthy, and educated Approach Ultimate goal All youth aged 0-21 in Mecklenburg County Target population Work with community and use research to set community agenda Select priorities Select indicators Work with community to develop plans to attack each initiative Plans will encompass four roles: – Policy – Public awareness – Research and evaluation – Strategic planning and convening Drive plan execution Execute on plans using policy, public awareness, and research and data. Broker in resources where needed Project manage on three levels 1.Internally, across all three priority areas 2.Internally, leading, coordinating, linking 4 roles for each priority 3.Externally, leading, coordinating, linking work of convened groups Program quality improves Organizations adopt evidence- based practices Funding shifts to evidence- based practices Program mix improves Service providers change offerings Policies change Government funding shifts Other policies shift to support priorities Shorter-term goals met Process Interme- diate indicators Longer-term goals met Priority indicators improve Funder/ community ROI improves Citizen awareness of children’s issues increases Intended Impact & Theory of Change

12 Current Staffing Executive Director – 80% of time dedicated to Larry King Center Director of Research & Evaluation Director of Strategy & Policy Strategy & Policy Associate Nurse-Family Partnership Expansion Coordinator Graduate Student support By end of year 3, plan to have 12 FTEs

13 Selected Accomplishments to Date Collaborated with state partners to lobby legislation for the 2009 NC Legislative Session Responded to over 2 dozen agency requests for assistance with research and evaluation Completed outcomes training for United Way agencies Served as local affiliate for Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month Hosted multiple community forums Participated in joint human services planning for Housing Authority and Department of Social Services

14 Current Initiatives Expansion planning for Nurse-Family Partnership Development of a public policy agenda for priority areas Community Indicators Project Evaluation capacity building with several local non- profits

15 Evaluation Need to evaluate both process and outcomes Need external evaluator Skeleton process evaluation is in progress Overarching objectives of outcome work: Document the LKC’s value to the community Demonstrate LKC’s association with better outcomes for children One challenge: limited extant research on intermediaries

16 Partnership with UNC Charlotte University faculty - partners/collaborators in multiple departments (psychology, social work, education, public policy) Opportunities for interns Research committee Helps inform and guide decision-making Brings additional expertise to the complex issues involved

17 Urban Institute –Indicators project Institute for Social Capital –Creating a database that can be used to inform the LKC Partnership with UNC Charlotte - II

18 Challenges & Opportunities Balancing long-term planning with immediate community needs (e.g., projects vs. mission) Evaluating our progress Developing the community relationships necessary to sustain change Communicating our work clearly to stakeholders Sustainable funding

19 Laura Y. Clark, M.A. Ryan P. Kilmer, Ph.D. Jim Cook, Ph.D. Brett A. Loftis, J.D. Contact Us

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