Award for Warren County for Youth Board
1 September 2016 News
Front Royal – At the Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting, Beau Blevins, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Virginia Association of Counties, presented Warren County with one of its 2016 Achievement Awards for the County’s development of its Youth Advisory Board.
In addressing the Board, Blevins stated, “VACo is excited to present Warren County with its first VACo Achievement Award for the establishment and work of the County’s Youth Advisory Board. Our judges were very impressed with Warren County’s structured approach in developing and evaluating youth services in its community. Congrats on a job well done!”
Warren County has taken a structured approach to developing and evaluating youth services in its community. The need for a strategic plan for youth services was identified at a Court Best Practices Summit that was held in October 2012. The Warren County Youth Services Strategic Plan was developed in December 2013 by representatives of local government, social services, parks and recreation, juvenile and domestic relations court, law enforcement, schools, mental health services, non-profits, public health, and the local medical community, parents, and citizens. Participants met for two days with a strategic planning consultant to engage in dialogue and complete a series of activities designed to help them examine trends and needs, create a vision, and develop goals and action plans.
To ensure the success of this vision by 2018, Warren County has identified five strategic target areas with specific goals that must be achieved, which include Central Coordination of Access and Funding, Prevention and Identification of Risk Factors, Youth Based Programming, Integrated Transportation, Economic Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency. The group also decided that a youth and family oriented multi-disciplinary oversight group should be established in order to carry the work outlined in the Strategic Plan forward.
The Warren County Youth Advisory Board convened its first meeting in January 2014. The group is comprised of thirteen members and meets bi-monthly with the working committees meeting in alternate months. The Central Coordination of Access and Funding Committee’s focus is on a centralized intake process to better serve families in crisis. The Exploratory Committee has been surveying middle and high school students to determine their interest in, or barriers to, participating in after school recreational activities. The intent of the survey is to make recommendations to local government and community partners on the design and development of future recreational activities in Warren County.
Beth Reavis, Chairman of the Youth Advisory Board and Director of the Warren County Department of Social Services stated, “The Youth Advisory Board is very proud of its accomplishments and the cooperation and collaboration from all parts of the Warren County community. Our goal is to improve services for youth and their families and we feel we have an excellent model for doing that work. We are excited to be recognized for the work that we’ve been doing and pleased to accept this award on behalf of the County.”
Warren County Board Chair Linda Glavis, who serves as the Board representative for the Community Management and Policy Team (CPMT) and the Youth Advisory Board stated, “I’m very pleased that Warren County has earned VACO’s 2016 Achievement Award for our Youth Advisory Board Strategic Plan for providing services to youth in our community. Beth Reavis, Director of Social Services, who chairs the Advisory Board, submitted the plan for consideration. I commend her, and all members of the Board who have been working since December 2013 toward implementing a plan that we hope will connect youth with activities and services they need.”
County Administrator Doug Stanley added, “We really want to express our thanks to all of those community members as well as our consultant, Tyler St. Clair of the Weldon Cooper Center, who participated in our Warren County Youth Services Strategic Planning process back in 2012/2013. The process really set the course for development of the Advisory Board. I especially want to thank Board Chair Linda Glavis for her personal support of the process and development of the Youth Advisory Board. Through her involvement with CPMT she understands the challenges we face in addressing issues facing the youth of our community.
Additional information on the award recognition can be found http://www.vaco.org/membership/achievement-awards/ .