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January 24, 2012 > Groundbreaking School Linked Services Plan Adopted

Groundbreaking School Linked Services Plan Adopted

Submitted By Michelle Pelayo Osorio

On Tuesday, January 17, the Children, Seniors, Family Committee approved the redirection of $850,000 in general fund contracts towards the new school link services program. Last week, the Board of Supervisors launched a comprehensive, multi-million dollar community schools initiative called School-Linked Services (SLS), a program which more effectively will address the needs of children and youth to allow them to achieve success in school and in life through the coordinated delivery of health and social services on school campuses and in neighboring communities.

Not to be compared with a similar program from the mid-90's. This effort is one of the first comprehensive community schools models in the country.

"I witnessed firsthand the impact of directing county services to our schools as a Trustee of the East Side Union High School District," said Supervisor Dave Cortese, Chair of the Children, Seniors, and Family Committee. "This plan will help the county's children succeed in school and life. It works." Cortese announced the SLS initiative during his state of the county speech one year ago.

With 10 million dollars in Mental Health grants, realigned county funds and in-kind services, the Santa Clara County school link services strategy will roll out to 53 schools during 2012. The strategy was built by integrating State Mental Health Services Act Prevention and Early Intervention funding, with local resources and nationwide best practices.

A task force met for several months, co-chaired by Supervisor Dave Cortese and Supervisor George Shirakawa and East Side Union High School District Dan Moser. Additional task force member involved in the designing of the initiative are as follows: Santa Clara County Mental Health Department, Santa Clara County Probation Department, Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, Santa Clara County Public Health Department and Santa Clara County Department of Alcohol and Drug Services, East Side Union High School District, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, Kids in Common, Community Health Partnership, The Harvard Study - Consensus Process Convened by La Raza Round Table de California, Diocese of San Jose, NAACP and the Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet, South East Consortium for Special Education, Alum Rock Counseling Center, Special Education Local Plan Area, Ujima Adult and Family Services, California Teachers Association, San Jose Unified School District, Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Jose Police Department, EMQ Families First.

To access the School-Linked Services Strategic Plan for 2012, please go towww.sccgov.org/SLS.

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