UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities

Program for Integrated School & Community Solutions

Program Summary

The long-term aim of the Program for Integrated School and Community Solutions is to improve the well being of youth, families and communities. This is accomplished by working closely with schools, complexes of schools, and district-wide systems to enhance Learning Support programs and organizational policies and practices. The Program examines issues involving system integration and benefit to instruction, while developing tools to enhance future efforts at reform.

There are three primary components to the design for the Program for Integrated School and Community Solutions (PISCS): (1) Eliciting expertise and best practices for policy, model designs and dissemination; (2) Refining and encouraging implementation of policy changes in the area of school-based Learning Support and (3) Providing technical assistance, tools and training.

(1) PISCS staff is collecting and compiling best practices, tools and materials from schools and programs around the country. The Program uses current research and expert panels to develop solutions, strategy packets and useful tools for local efforts. The initial areas of focus are financing, structure and organization, and tools development.

Facilitated Task Forces, including university staff, district leaders and health education and social service experts, meet with Program staff in each area of interest. The Task Forces are classifying the range of services, models and training delivered by schools; delineating financing options; creating strategy packets; and determining the components of successful models.

(2) Information from the first component is being used to refine and encourage implementation of needed policy changes in Los Angeles County. A series of Policy Makers' Convenings continues the change process. Six school district superintendents, directors from the Los Angeles County Departments of Health and Mental Health, officials from both the LA County Office of Education and the State Department of Education, and other agencies have been invited to this interactive series of meetings. Information from the convenings and the results of implementation by the involved districts will be disseminated countywide at a Learning Support Conference. Representatives from all 80 districts in LA County will be invited to attend this conference which will take place in the fall of 1999.

(3) The focus of our third component is immediate technical assistance, tools and training. Local efforts at reform of health and human services have current needs in terms of tools and training. This component uses the expertise of the departments at UCLA to sustain and improve local county efforts. Through the development of the Capacity Building Learning Collaborative, the Program will determine areas of greatest need in order to target immediate technical assistance and tool development efforts.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Dr. Neal Halfon at (310) 206-1898 or Michael Shannon at (310) 825-8042.