Children & Youth Master Plan Priority Areas and Work Groups

Page updated on Jul 16, 2019 at 9:03 AM

CYMP Communication Pathways

Achieving the goals and strategies in the Children and Youth Master Plan (CYMP) involves all of our efforts, and CYMP work groups provide multiple opportunities to impact and improve the lives of Alexandria’s children and youth. 

Work groups meet regularly and build a plan of action, determine what’s been done and what still needs to be done, and carry out the Plan by:

  • Developing routine activities for collecting data, measuring performance and reporting progress
  • Putting ideas into action (i.e. implementing action steps)
  • Identifying resources required to put ideas into action
  • Inspiring change in their own communities
  • Communicating updates to the community and responding to feedback

Work groups are made up of people who come together to contribute their time, expertise, passions, and lived experiences to help plan their initiative and turn ideas into action. Members have experience with the issue, are genuinely interested in affecting the issue, are action-oriented “doers” who commit to attending monthly meetings and doing the work.

CYMP Work Groups 

Healthy Behaviors Work Group

  • Focus/Mission: Prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem while promoting developmental assets among young people.
  • Who’s on it: ACPS Alternative Programs and Equity and the International Academy; Alexandria Health Department; Alexandria Police Department; Court Services Unit Gang Prevention; Department of Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Activities;  Partnership for Healthier Alexandria; DCHS divisions and programs, including the Sexual Assault Center, Domestic Violence Program, Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy and Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.
  • Additional Information or Links: City of Alexandria Performance Dashboard: Children & Youth


Youth Empowerment Work Group

  • Focus/Mission: Create and promote more leadership, civic engagement and empowerment opportunities for young people living in Alexandria, thus making our local government, programs and services more youth-friendly and accessible to youth.
  • Who’s on it: Alexandria youth; Alexandria Cooperative Extension; Alexandria Police Department; Court Services Unit Gang Prevention, Volunteer Alexandria, Stop Child Abuse Now!; and DCHS divisions and programs, including the Sexual Assault Center, Domestic Violence Program, Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, and Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.
  • Additional Information or Links: City of Alexandria Performance Dashboard: Children & Youth


Healthy Minds Work Group

  • Focus/Mission: Reduce the rate of depression and suicidal ideation, especially among the LGBTQ students, while promoting mental health and wellbeing among young people. This will soon become a subgroup of the Trauma-Informed Community Network [LINK].
  • Who’s on it: Alexandria Police Department; Alexandria Health Department; ACPS Student Services; Alternative Programs and Equity (Health Services and Social Workers); The Partnership for Healthier Alexandria; Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN); WISE Family Solutions, LLC; DCHS divisions and programs, including the Center for Economic Support, Office of Community Services, Sexual Assault Center, Domestic Violence Program, LGBTQ Task Force, Child Welfare Services, Behavioral Health Services for Children and Families, and the Youth Development Team
  • Additional Information or Links:


Trauma Informed Community Network

  • Focus/Mission: Connecting people and practices across disciplines around trauma-informed care to advance and support trauma-informed and trauma sensitive practices in the community
  • Who’s on it: All members of the Healthy Minds Work Group plus: ALIVE!, Center for Alexandria’s Children, DCHS Early Childhood Division, SCAN, Northern Virginia Healthy Foundation, Northern Virginia Family Services, Voices for Virginia’s Children, the Early Care and Education Work Group, and ACPS International Academy
  • Additional Information or Links


Other CYMP Related Work Groups


Youth Service Coordinating Council (YSCC)

  • Description: DCHS convenes monthly meetings, bringing together individuals to represent their organizations, share information and provide their unique perspective on youth issues. Participation with YSCC is beneficial in a number of ways.  Members are able to: 
    • Learn more about the CYMP and give updates on their initiatives/programs related to the strategies in the CYMP;
    • Discuss and connect overarching youth related issues, share strategies and problem-solve when barriers are identified;
    • Find ways to collaborate and support one another’s work as well as exchange resources and knowledge; and
    • Hear from invited guest speakers who provide information on a range of topics.
  • Who’s on it: There are over 160 members. Members are youth service providers from City services, ACPS, nonprofits and interested community members
  • Additional Information or Links: City of Alexandria Performance Dashboard: Children & Youth
  • Contact: Noraine Buttar at or 703.746.3436


Early Care and Education

  • Description: Starting in 2013, ACT for Alexandria convened the Early Care and Education Workgroup (ECEW), which includes leaders from ACPS, City agencies, early care and education providers, the Health Department, local foundations and non-profit organizations. The workgroup has since been tasked with the challenge of creating an “early care and education system that prepares children to succeed in life and in school” as outlined in the CYMP. Since that time, they have been working together toward that goal, guided by a Common Agenda, a framework that lays out our priority activities.
  • Who’s on it: ACPS, Alexandria Health Department, the Campagna Center, Child and Family Network Centers, Neighborhood Health, ALIVE!, Deputy City Manager of the City of Alexandria, Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation, Director of DCHS, Center for Children and Families, Hopkins House, Northern Virginia Family Service, Center for Alexandria’s Children, Creative Play School, and Act for Alexandria
  • Additional Information or Links: City of Alexandria Performance Dashboard: Children & Youth


Out of School Time Work Group 

  • Focus/Mission: Due to the complexity of stakeholders involved with Out of School Time Programs (OSTP) in Alexandria and in order to appropriately address the goals and strategies outlined within the Plan, the Alexandria City Council and School Board Joint Commission called for the development of a work group to address the City’s OSTP needs. After conducting a study of community OSTP resources, one of the recommendations of the work group was to coordinate, plan and implement an annual Out of School Time Forum designed to offer an ongoing platform for collaboration, professional development and the alignment of OSTP services citywide. The presentation materials for the workshop sessions are provided below.
  • Who’s on it: Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities; DCHS; ACPS; and the Campagna Center
  • Meetings: This group does not regularly meet. For more information about the OSTP Work Group, contact Margaret Orlando at
  • Additional Information or Links: City of Alexandria Performance Dashboard: Children & Youth


Other CYMP Priority Areas


Caring Adults

  • Increase the proportion of young people who have caring adults in their lives.


Healthy Bodies

  • Promote physical, social and emotional wellness among children and youth.


Academic Excellence and Educational Equity

  • Support ACPS’s Objectives to target achievement and opportunity gaps while increasing positive educational outcomes.


College and/or Career Readiness and Attainment

  • Support ACPS’s objectives to reduce disparities in college and career readiness to ensure that students are ready to pursue college, a career or independent living. Read the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan.


Healthy Start

  • Promote the health and well-being of pregnant women and babies in the first year of life, especially among African Americans.


Other CYMP Partners


  • City Council School Board Subcommittee
  • City School Staff Group


Progress Reporting

To document our collective impact for improving the lives of Alexandria's children and youth, CYMP stakeholders are asked to use and submit a reporting template on a quarterly basis. We use this information to highlight our successes throughout the City. If your work contributes to any of the CYMP priority areas, which includes work group areas, then please periodically use the Template to report on your activities so that we can highlight and support your work.


To Volunteer

For work group and other volunteer opportunities, visit and type "DCHS Children and Youth Master Plan" in the "Filter List" bar.


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