Charter for the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team


Adopted Feb. 3, 2016

In order to become confident individuals, effective contributors, successful learners and responsible citizens, all Fairfax’s children need to be: safe, nurtured, healthy, achieving, active, included, respected, and responsible. This can only be realized if the County, schools, community, and families pull together to plan and deliver top-quality services, which overcome traditional boundaries. All segments of our community have a vital role to play in achieving all elements of this vision. To that end, the SCYPT has adopted a collective impact approach to, and serves as the policy team guiding and coordinating such work across Fairfax.

Our Collective Vision:
A community where all children and youth thrive and reach their full potential.

SCYPT Mission:
The Successful Children and Youth Policy Team provides policy and resource guidance and champions the collective efforts of the Fairfax community to ensure all children, youth, and their families and communities have equitable access to quality services, supports, and opportunities to further their success and well-being.

Shared Community Outcomes:
We aim to achieve these outcomes for all children and youth in Fairfax County. We also aim to ensure that disparities are identified and eliminated.

  1. Children get a healthy start in life.
  2. Children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
  3. Children and youth succeed academically.
  4. Children and youth are healthy.
    1. Children and youth are physically healthy.
    2. Children and youth are socially, emotionally, and behaviorally healthy and resilient.
  5. Children and youth are safe and free from violence and injury.
  6. Youth earn a post-secondary degree or career credential.
  7. Youth enter the workforce ready to succeed.
  8. Youth contribute to the betterment of their community.

I.        The Role of the SCYPT and its Members

  1. The SCYPT serves as the policy team for a broader, community-wide collective impact approach to ensure the success and well-being of children and youth in Fairfax County.
  2. Specific responsibilities of the SCYPT include to:
    1. Develop a high-level policy agenda reflective of a shared vision for the Fairfax community’s children and youth;
    2. Develop specific recommendations on policy and funding;
    3. Encourage and drive action among leadership in key sectors and organizations;
    4. Inform, align, and develop priorities for the children and youth serving (and supporting) systems;
    5. Ensure major initiatives are coordinated and implemented throughout the county, schools, and community;
    6. Charter teams to address issues, when such teams do not exist; and
    7. Regularly review progress on identified outcomes.
  3. Specific responsibilities of individual SCYPT members include to:
    1. Provide strategic direction to the child and youth serving (and supporting systems);
    2. Serve as visible champions on children and youth issues within the community and within one’s sector and organization;
    3. Model desired changes/policy directions within one’s organization/sphere of influence;
    4. Direct resources (funding, people, advocacy, attention, etc.) to address identified issues;
    5. Provide perspectives from one’s sector and serve as voices of the sector, able to discuss current trends and efforts; and
    6. Review and provide data to aid in decision-making.

II.    SCYPT Structure

  1. Membership: SCYPT membership shall be comprised of representatives from Fairfax County Government, Fairfax County Public Schools, and community-based providers and stakeholders.
    1. Fairfax County Government members:
      1. Board of Supervisors, 2 members to be appointed by the Board Chairman
      2. Deputy County Executive, Human Services
      3. Deputy County Executive, Public Safety
      4. Executive Director, Community Services Board
      5. Director, Health Department
      6. Director, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services
      7. Director, Court Services Unit, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
      8. Director, Department of Family Services
      9. Chief of Police
    2. Fairfax County Public Schools members:
      1. School Board, 2 members to be appointed by the Board Chairman
      2. Deputy Superintendent
      3. Chief Academic Officer
      4. Assistant Superintendent, Special Services
      5. Assistant Superintendent, Facilities
      6. Assistant Superintendent, Regional Office
      7. Director, Intervention and Prevention Services
      8. Teacher
    3. Community members:
      1. Public policy sector, to be appointed by the Human Services Council
      2. Minority communities sector, to be appointed by the Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee
      3. Early childhood sector, to be appointed by the Northern Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children
      4. Faith sector, to be appointed by the Fairfax County Clergy Council
      5. Family sector, to be appointed by the Community Policy and Management Team
      6. Family sector, to be appointed by the Fairfax County Council of PTAs
      7. Family sector, to be appointed by the Head Start Policy Council
      8. Health care sector, to be appointed by Inova
      9. Non-profit sector, to be appointed by Nonprofit Nova
      10. Philanthropy sector, to be appointed by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
      11. Higher education and research sectors, to be appointed by George Mason University
      12. Higher education and workforce development sectors, to be appointed by Northern Virginia Community College
      13. Business sector, to be appointed by Leadership Fairfax
    4. Members will not be expected to unreasonably dedicate resources for SCYPT functions (e.g., meeting participation, data gathering), although current resource limitations should not hinder or bind SCYPT recommendations.
    5. Members representing agencies or organizations must be an Executive Director (or equivalent) or a senior level staff that is empowered to make decisions. Members are expected to attend each meeting. Substitutions or delegates should be used conservatively and given decision-making authority when used.
    6. Community members must be willing to serve a three year term.
  2. Co-Chairs
    1. Three co-chairs, serving one-year terms, shall include:
      1. One SCYPT member from the School Board;
      2. One SCYPT member from the Board of Supervisors; and
      3. One SCYPT member from among the community members.
        1. The community member shall be selected by the full roster of SCYPT community members as a “co-chair-elect” one year prior to the start of his or her term.
    2. Specific responsibilities of the co-chairs include to:
      1. Serve on the Executive Committee (see section II.B.);
      2. Facilitate SCYPT meetings; co-chairs will rotate responsibility so that one co-chair is responsible for each meeting;
      3. Serve as public spokespeople and champions for the SCYPT;
      4. Liaise with appointing bodies when new members are needed or when current members are not fulfilling their responsibilities;
      5. Report back to the Board of Supervisors, School Board, and other relevant policy boards on key updates regarding SCYPT work; and
      6. Communicate SCYPT updates, needs, and requests to committees, staff, and others working toward intended outcomes.
  3. Executive Committee
    1. A seven-member Executive Committee shall be composed of:
      1. The SCYPT co-chairs;
      2. The community member co-chair-elect;
      3. The School Board and Board of Supervisors representatives not serving as co-chairs;
      4. The Deputy County Executive for Human Services; and
      5. The Chief Academic Officer.
    2. The Executive Committee shall meet regularly to:
      1. Develop SCYPT meeting agendas;
      2. Narrow issues of interest by reviewing data and soliciting input from staff, SCYPT members, and other stakeholders; and
      3. Make decisions on matters of SCYPT process, structure, and membership.
  4. “Anchor Organization”
    1. The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Prevention Unit (“the Prevention Unit”) shall serve as the “anchor” or “backbone” organization for the SCYPT
    2. Anchor organization staff shall be responsible for:
      1. Coordinating SCYPT meetings (including Executive Committee meetings);
      2. Managing internal and external communications;
      3. Providing staff assistance and liaisons to conduct SCYPT work;
      4. Convening a Data Team and compiling and presenting data; and
      5. Other coordination, convening, and facilitation duties as necessary. 

III.   SCYPT Decision-Making Process

  1. SCYPT Meetings
    1. The SCYPT shall meet on a school year calendar; meetings during the summer are not expected and should be scheduled only under rare circumstances.
    2. The SCYPT shall meet no fewer than four times a year, in locations that are as centrally located as feasible.
    3. The services of an outside facilitator are recommended, to ensure broad participation in meetings and adherence to the agenda.
    4. All meetings, including Executive Committee meetings, shall be open to the public.
    5. Each meeting should have a standard agenda, with regular items including a review of actions for members and staff at the end of each meeting.
    6. Decisions should be made by consensus, where possible. If consensual agreement cannot be reached, a member can request a vote, in which case the majority decision will be recorded.
    7. A member who does not agree with the decision may ask that this be noted in the meeting summary and the member organization is not required to participate in related decisions, activities, or advocacy.
    8. Attendance by at least two-thirds of members of the SCYPT constitutes a quorum.
  2. General Planning Process
    1. The SCYPT shall set high-level priorities, informed by a review of relevant and available data.
    2. Priorities may also be informed by stakeholder input; even in these cases, a data-driven assessment of need is strongly recommended.
    3. Subject-matter experts, including staff, community-based coalitions and organizations, and place-based initiatives, will then be engaged (by the Prevention Unit if another convener is not identified) to report to the SCYPT more detailed data and information, including opportunities and barriers to implementing strategies to address the priorities. For the purposes of the SCYPT, this collective convening shall be referred to as a Collective Action Network (CAN).
    4. Based on this information, the SCYPT shall issue a set of specific objectives to address the identified priority.
    5. CANs shall then develop specific strategies and actions (and measures of progress) to address the identified objectives.
    6. The SCYPT will be asked to endorse recommendations requiring significant policy change or resource allocation.
    7. Individual SCYPT members and other leaders within the community should implement recommended changes within their power.
  3. Strategic Perspectives: SCYPT decisions shall be guided by the following strategic perspectives:
    1. Equity: Decisions should promote the just and fair inclusion of all children, youth, and families in the community, so that they all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.[1]
    2. Prevention: Addressing root causes, protective factors, and risk factors is essential; strategies that do not include prevention are likely to be unsustainable.
    3. Community Engagement: Broad engagement by multiple sectors and stakeholders, including youth, families, and “the general public,” is necessary to develop and implement collective action.
  4. Communication and Engagement
    1. A publically available email distribution list shall be maintained (by the Prevention Unit) to provide stakeholders with timely information on SCYPT meetings and actions, and on the progress of related initiatives and how people can get involved with them.
    2. Upon identifying priorities for action, the SCYPT (through the Prevention Unit and other staff) shall identify relevant agencies, coalitions, organizations, and other key stakeholders. Engagement with them shall be through one of four mechanisms:
      1. Awareness through mutual communications;
      2. Intentional staff involvement by Prevention Unit and others;
      3. Requesting reports, recommendations, etc., from existing networks and organizations; and
      4. Chartering/endorsing new networks and organizations that are obligated to report back to SCYPT.
    3. Plans created and endorsed by the SCYPT should include intentional and meaningful opportunities for multi-sector and community (including youth and families) engagement.
    4. Regular opportunities for input from service providers and other stakeholders should be provided.
  5. Policy Board Engagement
    1. Fairfax County Government staff shall regularly provide the Board of Supervisors Human Services Committee with updates on the work of the SCYPT and presentations on major initiatives and recommendations that will be coming to the Board for approval.
    2. The School Board members of the SCYPT shall work with the School Board and FCPS to develop and implement a process to regularly provide the School Board with updates on the work of the SCYPT and presentations on major initiatives and recommendations that will be coming to the Board for approval.
    3. If it is deemed necessary to engage other policy boards in the endorsement and implementation of SCYPT-developed strategies, a process for engaging each relevant board shall be included as a part of the strategy development.

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