Mayor Taveras, Governor Chafee, Casey Foundation Announce New Partnership to Adopt Evidence-Based Programs and Promote Better Education, Well-Being for Providence's Children
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Mayor Taveras, Governor Chafee, Casey Foundation Announce New Partnership to Adopt Evidence-Based Programs and Promote Better Education, Well-Being for Providence's Children

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

City, state and community leaders unite to establish national model for healthy child development.

Mayor Angel Taveras joined with Governor Lincoln Chafee, Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi, Department of Children, Youth and Families Director Dr. Janice DeFrances and representatives of the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation today to announce the launch of Evidence2Success, a new approach to investing in evidence-based programs that promote healthy child development.

The Casey Foundation chose Providence as the first site for Evidence2Success because of the city's and state's commitment to investing in children and youth and their collaborative efforts to improve outcomes of children in low-income neighborhoods.

"Young people need the positive influences of a loving family, healthy community and high-achieving schools to achieve their full potential. Many children also need the support of public systems to help their families in times of crisis," said Mayor Taveras. "Evidence2Success unites local efforts in working together to help children grow up healthy, ready for school and prepared for success in life."

Developed by the Casey Foundation, the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington and several other partners, Evidence2Success combines the latest research about what works for children and youth with a roadmap and resources to make successful child development possible.

"I am pleased to join Mayor Taveras in putting children in Rhode Island's largest city on the path to a brighter future," said Governor Chafee. "We hope that Evidence2Success will become the standard for how we invest in children, both in Rhode Island and nationwide."

Evidence2Success will help Mayor Taveras, Governor Chafee and other local leaders achieve the following priorities:

  • Using strong data on children's strengths and needs to improve child well-being and track progress. The Providence Public School District (PPSD) has conducted surveys with middle- and high-school students. Information from those surveys will be paired with survey results from children involved with the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and from the parents of young children to create a snapshot of children's strengths and needs. Surveys will be repeated every two years to ensure that programs offered by the schools and public systems address local priorities.

  • Strengthening partnerships and shared accountability among public systems, schools, communities and families. PPSD Superintendent Susan Lusi, DCYF Director Janice DeFrances and Family Services of Rhode Island CEO Margaret Holland-McDuff will lead the Evidence2Success workgroup of the Children and Youth Cabinet, a cross-sector collaborative to improve outcomes for Providence youth from cradle to career. The workgroup will partner with two neighborhoods to identify and implement specific evidence-based programs that respond to their children's needs.

  • Shift a percentage of current spending to increase funding for prevention and intervention programs. PPSD and DCYF already have started working with the Casey Foundation to determine where they can align their resources to invest in more effective practices that promote better outcomes and prevent problems that have a negative impact on children's lives.

  • Investing in proven programs that reach every eligible child. DCYF is working with the Casey Foundation to develop and implement a plan to reduce the number of children living in institutional settings, strengthen families and expand access to community-based services. The Casey Foundation also will work with Providence Public Schools to enhance its plans to offer comprehensive support services to children and families through the schools.

"Mayor Taveras and Governor Chafee have shown an unwavering commitment to promoting programs that have a positive impact on children's health and development," said Casey Foundation President and CEO Patrick McCarthy. "We are proud to support their continued investment in establishing Providence as a model for other cities interested in investing in a better future for all children."

Today's announcement comes at the end of a month in which the City of Providence was recognized for its leadership to improve educational outcomes by focusing on grade level reading. In early July, Providence was one of 14 cities across the United States to be named an All America City by the National Civic League for its plan to ensure that all students are reading on grade level by the third grade.

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