Ensuring the Summer Thrive

Press release from Children’s Trust of Alachua County

Study Presented by the Youth Development Research-Practice Partnership of the University of Florida

As part of the effort of the Children’s Trust of Alachua County to seek community input for its Strategic Funding Plan, the Trust Board authorized a summer needs assessment conducted by the Youth Development Research-Practice Partnership (YDRPP) in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida.

The Trust will use this information as it sets out programming guidelines for funding for this summer.

“We are grateful for this in-depth research that includes the input of members of the community. Their suggestions will help us serve our children so they can thrive this summer,” said Colin Murphy, Executive Director of the Children’s Trust of Alachua County.

The YDRPP sought input through 6 focus groups with 35 parents and a survey of 51 providers. Some of the issues raised by participants include the need for a systems-wide approach to information gathering and sharing, types of summer programs that meet children’s needs, funding that addresses equity and capacity issues, trained professionals, and the need for applying for funds.

The YDRPP also recommended that particular attention be given to children with disabilities and children in rural areas.

“The idea of thriving is a high bar. Thriving actually means ensuring that when children become adults they have both the capacity to choose some goals with regard to life and outcomes and the ability to meet those goals,” explained Deidre Houchen Ph.D., Project Director.

The research team included Christine Wegner, Ph.D. as Principal Investigator, and Brittany Bryant, Rahkiah Brown, Chanae Jackson, Sunshine Moss, Ph.D., Julian Alonso Retrepo, and Addison Staples.

The full report and presentation can be found here: www.childrenstrustofalachuacounty.us/about/page/reports.

The Children’s Trust of Alachua County provides children’s services throughout Alachua County.