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Structural Supports. Susan Besio, Ph.D. Director of Planning Vermont Agency of Human Services. Statutory Framework. 1998 - Vermont Legislature provided statutory authority for : Ten Outcomes of Social Well-being for Vermonters Regional Partnerships State Team for Children and Families

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Structural Supports

Susan Besio, Ph.D.

Director of Planning

Vermont Agency of Human Services


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Statutory Framework

1998 - Vermont Legislature provided statutory authority for :

  • Ten Outcomes of Social Well-being for Vermonters

  • Regional Partnerships

  • State Team for Children and Families

  • Vermont Research Partnership

  • Reports on Well-being


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10 Outcomes

  • FAMILIES, YOUTH, AND INDIVIDUALS ARE ENGAGED IN THEIR COMMUNITY’S DECISIONS AND ACTIVITIES

  • PREGNANT WOMEN AND YOUNG CHILDREN THRIVE

  • CHILDREN ARE READY FOR SCHOOL

  • CHILDREN SUCCEED IN SCHOOL

  • CHILDREN LIVE IN STABLE, SUPPORTED FAMILIES

  • YOUTH CHOOSE HEALTHY BEHAVIORS

  • YOUTH SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD

  • ADULTS LEAD HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE LIVES

  • ELDERS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES LIVE WITH DIGNITY AND INDEPENDENCE IN SETTINGS THEY PREFER

  • COMMUNITIES PROVIDE SAFETY AND SUPPORT TO FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS


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Regional Partnerships

  • Purposes:

    • Develop and implement local strategies for improving the social well-being of Vermonters,

    • Advise the agency of human services and the department of education re: effective implementation of state and local health, human services, and education programs.

  • Twelve across the state

  • Part-time Coordinators

  • Membership:consumers, family members, state and local agencies, economic development representatives, business leaders, and any other interested citizens and parties


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Regional Partnerships, Cont.

  • Complement and work closely with state government in the regions

    • Facilitate inclusive community process

    • Focus on outcomes

    • Monitor local data

    • Support local decision-making

    • Develop strategies to meet local strengths and needs

    • Evaluate change


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State Team for Children, Families and Individuals

  • Purposes:

    • Support the activities of the regional partnerships

    • Participate in the development and implementation of state policies and programs designed to improve the well-being of Vermonters.

  • Co-chaired by AHS Director of Planning and Regional Partnership Coordinator

  • Membership: regional partnership coordinators; representatives of state departments which serve children, families and individuals; directors of private sector service and advocacy organizations; institutions of higher education, and any other interested parties


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State Team, cont.

  • Sub-committees for each of ten outcomes to identify:

    • Heartening and troublesome indicators

    • Recommendations

    • Actions / Strategies for improvement

  • Monthly meetings focused on one of ten outcomes

  • Annual Outcomes-based Planning Report


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Vermont Research Partnership

  • Purpose:

    • To study and make recommendations for improving the effectiveness of state and local health, human services, and education programs.

  • Chaired by UVM

  • Membership: UVM faculty, Agency of Human Services Planning Division staff, Department of Education Staff


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Vermont Research Partnership, cont.

  • Each year, faculty identify 8 to 10 human service or education programs for research and evaluation regarding effectiveness, best practices re: ten outcomes

  • Monthly meetings to report on progress

  • Annual report to legislature on research project findings

  • Annual legislative day

  • All day forum for state staff regarding studies, findings



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Indicators for Outcomes

  • AHS Senior Policy Analyst Dedicated to Outcomes

  • 4 to 12 indicators for each outcomes

  • Multiple sources:US Census, Vital Statistics, Schools, AHS Administrative Data, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, etc.

  • Criteria for Selection:

    • Reliable

    • Valid

    • Updated routinely

    • Reflect statewide population (not program-specific populations)

  • Examples:% Low Birthrate

    % of kindergartners fully immunized

    Rate of teen violent deaths

    Rate of adult abuse and neglect victims


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Annual Performance Documents

  • Social Well-Being of Vermonters

    • All available national comparisons over time

    • “Top-level” narrative

  • Outcomes-Based Planning

    • Selected state comparisons over time

    • Detailed narrative with recommendations and strategies

  • Community Profiles

    • All available Supervisory Union level data over time

    • No narrative

  • New Tool: AHS Scorecard

    • Selected AHS indictors over time

    • No narrative


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Document Purposes

  • Inventory of data (descriptive)

  • Education/Information sharing

  • Monitoring trends

  • Needs Assessment/Grant Writing

  • Strategic Planning

  • Advocacy

  • Accountability/Focus on Outcomes


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Recent Observations

  • State Team “preaching to itself” – leaders not involved

  • Research Partnership not well-integrated with State Team, Regional Partnerships or State Managers / Programs

  • Published Documents not widely used at state level for strategic changes / performance-based management


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Overarching Question

How do we achieve better alignment between our tools, partners and processes

to actualize the intent of the

Outcomes Legislation

(i.e., to improve the well-being of Vermonters by increasing effectiveness of state and local health, human services, and education programs)?


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New Directions: State Team

  • Point of Accountability for Cross-Cutting Key issues (e.g., Incarcerated Women’s initiative)

    • Quarterly meetings with data presentations on key indicators, trends, regional comparisons

    • AHS, Education Leaders at quarterly meetings to focus on results

    • Regional teams present to report on differences in strategies

    • Vermont Research Partnership at quarterly meetings to identify and report on related research


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New Directions: Documents

  • Annual report on Vermonters

  • (a Sourcebook on Well-being)

  • Incorporates all available indictors for ten outcomes

  • National and state comparisons

  • References to Community Profile data

  • Highlights AHS Report Card Data

  • Brief narrative about indicators and interpretation of trends

  • Includes Vermont Research Partnership findings re: effective strategies / programs

Social Well-Being

Outcomes-based Planning

Specialized Performance Documents:

Community Profiles

AHS Scorecard

Regional Report Cards


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