We are excited to share the progress we have made on a collaborative project being piloted in Western Sussex County in the zip code region of 19973. Children & Families First, in partnership with Casey Foundation Family Programs, the Sussex County Health Coalition and Division of Family Services, has been working to build a strong foundation for a Community of Hope in Seaford, Delaware. This Community of Hope, as it is formed, will build on the resilience of families in Seaford with a goal to reduce family stressors and promote supports that can help to mitigate child abuse and neglect and divert the need for child welfare involvement.
Success in supporting families can only happen when cross-agency and cross-community collaboration is happening. In 2019 we worked with over 200 stakeholders to build relationships, identify needs, gather extensive feedback and data and to share our intentions with the community members. We utilized the Sussex County Health Coalition’s committee meetings to gain access to over 125 providers to inform our project platform and then to engage them in understanding the service landscape and gaps and needs for the families they serve.
The year ended with a “Holiday of Help” event where hundreds of residents were provided support during this difficult time of year. As we move forward in 2020, we are looking forward to supporting the community through strategies based on their feedback of what they and their families need to thrive. We will be finishing an Environmental Scan in early 2020 to inform a community playbook as we move forward with the opportunity to provide additional feedback.