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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Environment Element Group initiates countywide habitat and preservation study

environmentalelement

Today, the Countywide Vision Environment Element Group consisting of experts in environmental protection, land use, infrastructure, utilities, business and regulatory agencies met to discuss the initiation of a countywide habitat preservation and conservation study.

The study will help develop a recommended comprehensive structure and approach to the preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in a way that is beneficial for the health of the environment, the economy, and the citizens of San Bernardino County.

Dudek, an environmental and engineering consulting firm hired by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to complete the study this year, will facilitate the Group’s input into the creation of conservation strategies.

Dudek will collect and evaluate information about existing conservation efforts throughout the County over the next several months.

The Environment Element Group will act as ambassadors to the study by providing feedback to Dudek, assisting with gathering data and reports and reviewing documents produced during the process.

Anyone with valuable information about historical and ongoing conservation planning efforts anywhere in the county is encouraged to contact Stephanie Standerfer at Dudek – sstanderfer@dudek.com.

View the Conservation Study Presentation by Dudek here.

Public Defender’s truancy program highlighted by state association

PD logo finalMaking Attendance a Priority (MAP) is a collaborative, grant-funded program designed by the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office to reduce truancy in the City of San Bernardino.

MAP assigns a social services practitioner to visit families of truant students in their homes on a weekly basis to address issues leading to the child’s truancy. From 2008-13, MAP served more than 1,800 children. In a recent sampling of 43 students, 32 of them attended 70 percent more classes than before they were identified by the school district for the program.

MAP has also increased revenue to the San Bernardino City Unified School District at an average of $21,000 per year because of the increase in attendance.

In November, the California State Association of Counties chose Making Attendance a Priority for a 2013 CSAC Challenge Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the state.

The MAP program is just one example of how the County is using collective impact to solve complex problems as part of the Countywide Vision’s Cradle to Career goal.

Here is a video CSAC recently produced about the program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOL-Y1-KM8M&feature=youtu.be

Transforming communities through collective impact discussed at City-County Conference

partners in progressCity, county and local government leaders convened in at the 14th Annual City-County Conference in Lake Arrowhead on March 24-25 to discuss unique ways to collaborate and bring innovative ideas to meet challenges in our communities.

The conference themed “Partners in Progress” began with a presentation on the benefits of collective impact in solving society’s complex problems.

Collective impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success, said Jennifer Splansky Juster, director of the Collective Impact Forum at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm.

Juster highlighted the use of collective impact used in by officials in New York state who were struggling with recidivism of  their juvenile offenders. By tapping state resources in the areas such as mental health, housing, and corrections, the state reduced the number of juveniles in state custody by 45 percent.

This model has been used across the country to tackle some of the most serious social issues, including the education system in Cincinnati, malnutrition in low socioeconomic status communities, substance abuse in teens, and childhood obesity.  This model holds promise as a successful approach to the Cradle to Career goal of the Countywide Vision.

healthymuralSan Bernardino County Director of Public Health Trudy Raymundo led a lively discussion about healthy communities using artists who drew a mural showing what healthy communities look like based on a wish list received from conference attendees.

Their answers ranged from clean air, to a general plan that promotes diversity in housing amenities, to bike and walking paths and recreation centers.

Barbara Alejandre, assistant to the County Superintendent of Schools joined San Bernardino County Director of Preschool Services Diana Alexander to talk about education’s role in the economy of our region.

Education is an excellent investment in a region’s overall economic vitality, and improves social, environmental, and cultural factors as well. The Countywide Vision Cradle to Career Roadmap was developed to bring all sectors of our community together to support every child’s path to the workforce.

Already underway in the Colton Joint Unified School District are Community Cabinets of educators, parents, community members and business leaders working together to develop concrete goals -such as reading by third grade – to help children excel in school and build the skills necessary to sustain themselves into adulthood.

Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford and the County’s Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux discussed County government’s roles and responsibilities and how those duties relate to a county’s incorporated cities.

devereauxcitycountyCounties have four basic functions: provide municipal services in unincorporated areas, provide the backbone infrastructure, provide health and human services and law enforcement and justice.

Cities and counties have major differences in function and they are not the same in structure and legal abilities, Devereaux said. However, cities and counties can find ways to collaborate and work with each other on major issues to reach common goals.

The conference was sponsored by the County of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

 

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