Children’s Trust Plans County-wide Listening Tour

Press release from Children’s Trust of Alachua County

The Children’s Trust of Alachua County is planning a listening tour of the county where they will hear from county residents about the mission and plans for the Trust. The Listening Tour will go to each municipality to hear what is on the families’ minds about their children’s needs.

“The community wants more input on the Children’s Trust agenda, and this listening tour is an opportunity to share their opinions and make suggestions for improvements,” said Kristy Goldwire, Acting Executive Director of the Children’s Trust.

The Board approved a Listening Project Invitation to Negotiate (ITN), which was released on June 17, 2022, to develop a process to facilitate gathering information. Documents are found here: https://www.childrenstrustofalachuacounty.us/programs/page/listening-project-itn-2022-05

“The Trust will use the Listening Project to learn the community’s strengths, assets, and gaps from stakeholders. With this information, we can identify ways to determine how Trust resources can be invested wisely in support of all of Alachua County’s children,” explained Dr. Maggie Labarta, Board Chair of the Children’s Trust of Alachua County.

Working with the Trust, the selected contractor will develop a schedule of listening meetings across the county. The Trust will publish the meeting schedule once the dates and locations are confirmed.

The Board endorsed a strategic planning process to update the Trust’s goals and priorities and develop a long-term funding strategy. Broad community input will help the Trust better understand the community’s needs and opportunities for change.

The Listening Project is designed to hear from:

  • Children, parents, and caregivers 
  • All geographic regions of Alachua County
  • Current and Potential Service Providers and partners from both the private and public sectors
  • Key Influencers (e.g., community leaders and organizations, pediatricians, faith groups, funders, etc.) 

Characteristics of the Listening Project will include:

  • Strength-based, equity-informed approach 
  • Appropriate sampling of key stakeholders
  • Accessibility and inclusion for all persons (i.e., arrangements for the care of children, transportation, language, and differently-abled populations)
  • Proper documentation and records for all information collected (i.e., transcripts, materials used to conduct listening sessions, surveys, video recordings, etc.) are retained and submitted to the Trust.

Goldwire pointed to current community engagement efforts that have raised the visibility of the trust and encouraged more citizens to interact with the Trust. The Trust has sponsored and/or attended over 40 community events in the last two months.

Residents are encouraged to follow the Trust through the following methods: