Center for the Study of Social Policy - 40 Years of Innovation
Ideas Into Action

Best Start L.A.

In Los Angeles, California, CSSP is working with First 5 LA a child advocacy organization created by California voters to invest tobacco tax revenue in programs that improve the lives of children from prenatal through age 5 in Los Angeles County. In 2010, First 5 LA launched Best Start, a placed-based community changed effort that is designed to improve outcomes in the following goal areas (Best Start LA):

  • Children are born healthy
  • Children maintain healthy weight
  • Children are safe from abuse
  • Children are ready for kindergarten

CSSP is providing technical assistance and training to build capacity of 14 Best Start Community Partnerships so that they are able to construct a community-wide agenda to achieve measurable improvements in the Best Start goals.

This work builds upon CSSP’s accumulated knowledge around what it takes to build high functioning community partnerships and will incorporate the local communities’ wealth of learning and skills in the regions of Los Angeles.

The following activities are currently planned:

  1. Convene a Best Start Learning Community to create opportunities for Best Start staff and contractors (supervising Facilitators, trainers, facilitators and others) to learn from each other and share evidence-based capacity building strategies that will support the development of effective Best Start community partnerships.

  2. Convene a series of Learning Institutes organized around key learning objectives and capacity needs of Best Start communities to build and sustain effective and high functioning community partnerships. Some topics to be covered are:
    • Results, data and accountability for placed based agendas
    • Building community capacity to mobilize support for young childen
    • Developing a comprehensive and integrated community plan
    • Working collaboratively to improve and sustain better results

  3. Provide training, customized technical assistance and peer-to-peer supports to Best Start communities and develop cross-community trainings.

 CSSP partners in this work include Community Development Technologies and INNOVA Group.

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