Common Causes

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The U.S. Education Department is forming a working group on comprehensive services to help implement recent legislation calling forschool-community linkages.

The group's executive director is Jeanne Jehl, who, along with Thomas W. Payzant, the department's assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, helped launch the "New Beginnings" initiative on collaboration in San Diego. The new group got its start from a supplemental appropriations bill passed last fall that called for a panel to look into expanding comprehensive centers for young children and families.

The group is also expected to issue guidance on an Elementary and Secondary Education Act provision that allows schools to use a portion of their funds to coordinate social, health, and educational services. It is also developing materials to guide schools in working with communities under the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. More information on the working group is available from Jeanne Jehl, (202) 260-1854.

The Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families is a forum of foundation officers, program directors, policy experts, and public officials looking at financing, governance, community-building, and evaluation in cross-sector initiatives. The group has recently published a compilation of articles titled "New Approaches to Evaluating Community Initiatives: Concepts, Methods, and Contexts," edited by James P. Connell, Anne C. Kubisch, Lisbeth B. Schorr, and Carol H. Weiss. More information is available from the roundtable in care of the Aspen Institute, 345 East 46th St., Suite 700, New York, N.Y. 10017-3562; (212) 697-1226.

The Program in Education for a Changing Society, also affiliated with the Aspen Institute, has held meetings in Aspen, Colo., and Miami recently bringing together a diverse group of education, community, and human-services policy experts to discuss school-community links. Two papers from the meetings are now available: "Moving the Ladder: A New Community Vision," by Rima Shore, and "Building Community-Based Networks of Children's Services and Family Supports," by Martin Gerry and Ronnelle Paulsen. More information is available from Rebecca Springer, Aspen Institute, 1333 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Suite 1070, Washington, D.C. 20036; (202) 833-7442.

The National Center for Service Integration publishes newsletters and resource briefs on topics from community assessments to information systems. It also compiles research and serves as a clearinghouse for information on integrated-service efforts nationwide. More information is available from the center in care of Mathtech Inc., 5111 Leesburg Pike, Suite 702, Falls Church, Va. 22041; (703) 824-7447.

The Finance Project taps administrators of comprehensive-service programs and experts in education and social-service financing to study current strategies and develop better ways to pay for child and family services. The group commissions papers and studies on federal, state, and community approaches. It recently issued a paper called "Rethinking Block Grants: Toward Improved Intergovernmental Financing for Education and Other Children's Services." More information is available from Cheryl Hayes, the Finance Project, 1341 G St., N.W., Washington, D.C.; (202) 628-4200.

The Institute for Educational Leadership's Policy Exchange has zeroed in on how the organization of federal funding sources and Congressional committees affects the provision and coordination of child and family services. The group recently published a report called "Who Controls Major Federal Programs for Children and Families." More information is available from Margaret Dunkle, Director, I.E.L. Policy Exchange, 1001 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 310, Washington, D.C. 20036; (202) 822-8405.

The Child and Family Policy Center publishes papers and policy studies highlighting the need for "outcomes based" approaches to community-based collaborative projects, child-welfare and family-preservation services, family-support programs, and health issues. More information is available from the center at 100 Court Ave., Suite 312, Des Moines, Iowa 50539-2200; (515) 280-9027.

The Center for Collaboration for Children at the California State University at Fullerton is tracking and helping coordinate efforts in higher education to train professionals from diverse fields to work together to provide comprehensive child and family services. More information is available from Sidney Gardner, C.S.U. Fullerton, ec 324, Fullerton, Calif. 92643; (714) 773-3313.

--Deborah L. Cohen

Vol. 14, Issue 32

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