Ensuring Youth Success in Fairfax County, Virginia

How can a community make sure all its young people are safe, healthy and high achieving? By breaking down traditional boundaries and siloes, and pulling together to plan and deliver high-quality services. Fairfax County school, government and community leaders meet regularly as the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team (SCYPT) to set county-wide goals and priorities.

The SCYPT met in early June, with guidance from the Forum's Elizabeth Gaines, to study several critical issues for children and youth. The group reviewed the most up-to-date county data available. At the conclusion of the retreat, the group selected five issues areas - prenatal health, school readiness, resiliency and mental health, safety and access to services - as priorities for future discussions.

Selecting areas to focus on is important for any coalition or group, and the process should be guided by objective standards, not just the whims and "pet" issues of whoever happens to be in the room. The SCYPT uses the following five criteria, which can easily be adapted to your coalition's work:

  • Alignment with SCYPT's level of influence and scope of work
  • Urgency to address issue
  • Collaboration across partners required
  • Strong political will
  • Potential for positive impact on equity

Read more about the SCYPT here.

Publishing Date: 
June 19, 2017