Integrated County Planning

Integrated County Planning

Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities

In 1998, the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) was formed from the merger of the NYS Department of Social Services and the NYS Division for Youth. OCFS developed a five year demonstration project designed to encourage the local development of strategies to integrate youth and family services planning.

Since 1998 the Rochester-Monroe County Youth Bureau and the Monroe County Department of Human Services along with key community partners have been developing an ambitious multi-phased strategy to incorporate the state requirements and develop a common sense youth and family service system that is responsive, comprehensive, coordinated and based on results.

ICP Research-Based Programs

Research-Based Program Models: A Resource Tool has been compiled to support Monroe County’s Integrated County Plan and the larger child and family service system in Monroe County.

The goal of Research-Based Program Models: A Resource Tool is to assist youth and family service providers, municipal recreation programs, community-based organizations, educators and others in gathering information and ideas on research-based programming. In recent years, as policy makers, human service workers and organizations have increasingly become interested in identifying which programs and strategies are most effective, intensive research methods have been utilized to evaluate human service programming. Research-based programs serve as models because they have undergone credible research and have strong theoretical foundations.

Model programs for children and families have a foundation in developmental theory. This means that they are designed with an understanding of the biological, cognitive and social changes that occur in the lives of individuals and they utilize developmentally appropriate practices. Other common characteristics of effective programs are the inclusion of skill building and social competence building activities.

Programs that have been selected have been rated as highly effective by researchers. Typically this means that the program outcomes are specific and measurable, evaluation is of the highest quality with an experimental design with a randomized sample (replication by an independent investigator is also preferred), and outcome data show clear evidence of program effectiveness. It is important to perform further research on your own if selecting and implementing a program. Although deemed highly effective, these programs will show similar outcomes in your own community only when carefully selected and implemented. It is also important to note that these models follow a specific program including curricula, time frames, etc., and are not simply a framework, approach or language.

The resource tool adapts, combines and adds to the work of several key research institutions, resource guides and governmental agencies. The ICP partners have not developed this tool to endorse specific program models but rather to encourage those who work with youth and families to consider the characteristics of effective programs and the similarities in the strategies used by models with well-researched positive results.

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