Collaborative planning to prevent youth alcohol use
The Sacramento County Coalition for Youth (SCCY) is mobilizing to prevent underage drinking in Sacramento County, where alcohol is the most frequent substance of abuse by youth. Converge CRT facilitated the development of the Coalition's action plan, which provides a broad framework and a responsive menu of environmental prevention strategies and activities to achieve multi-level community change. The Coalition is led by the Sacramento County Office of Education, supported by the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Services. Using a consensus-based decision making process, the SCCY selected four Environmental Prevention strategies to include in the Action Plan: 1) developing targeted media messaging, 2) limiting youth access to alcohol, 3) addressing current laws, policies and practices, and 4) understanding and redirecting social norms.
Evaluation, strategic planning and capacity building
As a component of a larger change management process and organizational transition, Converge CRT designed a process to meet three primary goals: evaluate impact, plan for the future, and build capacity. Adele and Deb facilitated meetings with board and staff, conducted key informant interviews, provided technical assistance to design and analyze a statewide survey and offered executive coaching and training. Assessment results demonstrated how the Public Engagement (PE) Program is making a difference at various levels, from strengthening individual skills and knowledge to implementation of policies and laws. As a result of the impact assessment and capacity building, ILG secured additional funding to sustain their efforts, identified multiple opportunities for collaboration across ILG programs and strengthened relationships with key stakeholders.
Implementing the Sacramento Mental Health Action Plan
Converge CRT facilitated implementation of the action plan in partnership with Sacramento County Office of Education, Mental Health America of Northern California and Sierra Health Foundation’s Center for Health Program Management. Deb developed the conceptual framework and collaborative process to structure the work of four Action Teams and a Coordinating Council and facilitated monthly Council meetings. The one-year project resulted in multiple outcomes including a youth social media campaign, development of new relationships, expansion of mental health first aid training, development of a white paper on integration of behavioral health and primary health care services, and created a document outlining the systemic issues, barriers and gaps faced by transition-age youth.
Implementing a county-wide innovation plan to address mental health crisis
To implement the local Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation Plan, Converge CRT facilitated the establishment a community-driven collaborative group in partnership with the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services and Sierra Health Foundation. Over a period of three years, Deb worked with the RPC to distribute more than $3 million to provide mental health respite and reduce psychiatric hospitalizations. Through ongoing consulting and facilitation, Deb helped the RPC reach consensus on funding distribution strategies, award three rounds of grants to establish 11 new respite programs, and develop a logic model to guide their efforts.
Strategic preparedness organizational assessment & retreat
An established advocacy organization finds itself at the cross roads, with new members, an uncertain economy and multiple choices for the future. Deb coached faith-based leaders and staff through an organizational assessment to understand current strengths, challenges and desired future directions. Based on the results and direction from this leadership team, Deb designed and facilitated a strategic planning retreat where members created a unified vision, developed priority goals and identified necessary action steps.
Collaborating to increase early education quality
The Sacramento County Office of Education convened a diverse group of 35-40 child care providers, parents, and local experts to collaboratively develop a plan to establish and test quality standards for Early Childhood Education in Sacramento County. Despite time pressure and potentially polarizing issues, Deb’s facilitation allowed the group to reach consensus on a rating system and a coordinated plan to provide professional development and support for early childhood educators.
Overcoming conflict and leading the way in collaborative innovation
In the face of budget cuts, reduced services, law suits, a looming deadline and other challenges, Deb assisted leaders at Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services in organizing a community planning process to develop a plan to address mental health crisis. Over six months, Deb worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to examine data, set priorities and reach consensus on how to move forward. The plan made it through all the approval channels without protest and brought more than $8 million in implementation funding to Sacramento County.