Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Disability and Aging

Governance and Management Structures for Community Partnerships: Experiences From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Community Partnerships for Older Adults Program

Abstract: 

Purpose: This article describes early efforts of four community partnerships in Boston, El Paso, Houston, and Milwaukee to address governance and management structures in ways that promote the sustainability of innovative community-based long-term care system improvements. The four communities are grantees of the Community Partnerships for Older Adults Program, a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that fosters local partnerships to improve long-term care and supportive-services systems in order to meet the current and future needs of older adults. Design and Methods: We examined community partnership approaches to governance and management, as well as evidence of the partnerships' influence in their communities, by using the conceptual framework of the community health partnerships typology developed by Shannon M. Mitchell and Stephen Shortell. Results: Addressing governance and management issues was critical to the early evolution of community partnerships for older adults. Early partnership experiences, particularly with regard to local funders and media, provide evidence of emerging centrality (importance and influence in the community), which forecasts sustainability. Observation over a longer period is needed in order to see whether early successes will be sustained, particularly once original grant funding ends. Implications: Community partnerships for older adults can become influential positive forces but must invest in adequate governance and management structures early on.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
June 1, 2006
URL: 
http://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/3/391.abstract

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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