Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ED Releases "Impact in Place" Report Highlighting CSSP's Community Capacity Framework

Last week, the Department of Education (ED) released “Impact in Place: A Progress Report on the Department of Education’s Place-Based Strategy.” The report highlights ED’s commitment to improving the well-being of children and families through place-based strategies – an approach recognizing that communities often face a set of complex issues that require a set of interconnected solutions. Promise Neighborhoods – a cornerstone program in the federal Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative – recognizes that underperforming schools, access to healthcare and violence, for example, all affect student achievement. As a result, the Promise Neighborhoods approach strives to create a cradle-to-career continuum of services that addresses these challenges and ensures that children have access an excellent education that will fuel their success transition to college and career. By aligning funding opportunities, resources and existing programs, place-based approaches can tackle the array of challenges communities face and help communities implement strategies that are needed to improve outcomes.

The report captures six elements that are crucial to the successful development of place-based strategies. One of these elements – “Building Core Capacities Within Organizations and Communities” – highlights the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP) community capacity framework. This framework – based on more than a decade of work within communities – is based on the combination of knowledge, skills, relationships, interactions and organizational resources that CSSP believes are crucial to the transformation of neighborhoods into places of opportunity. With capacities such as resident leadership, the creation of accountable partnerships, the continuous use of data for learning and the implementation of strategies that are based on best available evidence, communities can build the capacity needed to engage in effective revitalization efforts that improve outcomes for all residents.

To learn more about CSSPs community capacity framework, check out: Making a Difference in Your Neighborhood: A Handbook for Using Community Decision-Making to Improve the Lives of Children, Youth and Families.

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