Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Disability and Aging

Community Partnerships for Older Adults: A Case Study

Abstract: 

Over the past several decades, federal policy has made states and communities increasingly more responsible for providing long-term care for older adults. The Community Partnerships for Older Adults, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, saw this as an opportunity to explore new, sustainable ways to meet current and future needs for community-based longterm care. This initiative focuses on collaborative organizational partnerships, a distinctive philosophy of teaching and learning through the exchange of experience between communities, and program learning focusing on known factors promoting organizational sustainability. Using principles that emphasize the development of social capital and collective efficacy, the authors present a case study of the early experiences of this initiative to address the challenges inherent in meeting the growing supportive service needs of older adults. The implications of this multisite community intervention for social work education and practice in aging are discussed.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
September 1, 2005
URL: 
http://www.familiesinsociety.org/Show.asp?override=true&docid=3439

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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