Commission Releases Plan, Strategies to Improve Outcomes for Alexandria Children, Youth and Families

Page updated on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:47 AM

Commission Releases Plan, Strategies to Improve Outcomes for Alexandria Children, Youth and Families

DCHS CONNECT FEATURE


CYMP Cover 2April 30, 2021--The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission (CYFCC) has released the Children and Youth Master Plan (CYMP) 2025, an updated roadmap for how the Alexandria community will work together to create conditions for all young people to thrive. 

Since 2012, CYFCC has served as the coordinating body charged with educating and advising the public and elected officials on a wide range of issues that impact the lives of children and families in Alexandria. One of its first duties was the formation of the CYMP, which was completed in 2014, to serve as a blueprint to improve outcomes for children, youth and families who call Alexandria their home. 

In 2019, the Commission released a Five-Year Report reviewing the first five years and began working on updating the original plan for the future. That update coincided with the revisions of two other major city-related plans, the Alexandria City Public Schools’ (ACPS) Strategic Plan and the Alexandria Health Department and the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). A Unified Planning Team was established to develop the plans collectively and maximize collective community engagement, share important data and focus on shared outcomes with the vision that working together instead of in isolation would prove beneficial to all Alexandrians and serve as a model for future efforts.

The result is CYMP 2025, which outlines strategies and action plans centered around three goals: 

  • Ensure that all children, youth and families are physically safe and healthy

  • Ensure children are academically successful and career ready

  • Ensure children, youth and families have positive experiences by increasing developmental assets and reducing traumatic or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)

The goals were formed through a collaborative effort of community members, youth and stakeholders, many of whom engaged in an hour-long workshop called “Build Your Legacy.” The data and input collected during the workshops and other community outreach efforts were synthesized into strategic statements and thematic areas, and youth-related strategies from other city-wide plans were reviewed and integrated into the CYMP. The result is a plan that centers on equity while preventing harmful experiences and promoting positive ones.

“I know that I am biased but I believe we have created the best Youth Master Plan in the country,” says Chelsea Eickert, the Plan’s coordinator. “To my knowledge, it’s the only Youth Master Plan that is intentionally framed around decreasing ACEs and increasing developmental assets. After the tumultuous year we have all had, we need this Plan now more than ever.” 

To achieve the goals, a wide range of youth-serving providers and organizations throughout Alexandria will collaborate and work together to improve children and youth outcomes, including DCHS, Alexandria City Public Schools,  the Alexandria Police Department, and other City departments as well as local coalitions and community partners like Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy, Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria, and Smart Beginnings.

“What’s also remarkable about this Plan,” Eickert says, “is how well it captures the hopes and dreams of the nearly 2,000 young people we talked to – they opened their hearts to us during those Legacy Workshops and we made every effort to make sure they were heard. This Plan is their legacy and it is up to every adult to support and sustain it.”

To learn more about CYMP, work groups and opportunities to be involved, visit alexandriava.gov/YouthPlan.

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