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Annie E. Casey Foundation;
Over five years, Connecticut has made substantial progress in turning around its troubled child welfare agency. Partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other advisors, the state has instituted improvements, driven down the number of unnecessary child removals and ensured that children entering state custody live in families whenever possible, not in group placements.This report presents the new policies and practices focused on improving supports for families and asking more kin to provide temporary help when kids must be removed from their parents. This strategy has Connecticut reducing reliance on out-of-state placements, especially for youngsters.
University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute;
Why is there so much difference in the health of residents in one county compared to other counties in the same state? In this report, the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program explores how wide gaps are throughout Connecticut and what is driving those differences. This information can help Connecticut state leaders as they identify ways for everyone to have a fair chance to lead the healthiest life possible. Specifically, this document can help state leaders understand: 1. What health gaps are and why they matter 2. The size and nature of the health gaps among counties within Connecticut 3. What factors are influencing the health of residents, and 4. What state and local communities can do to address health gaps.
Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program;
On April 13, 2015, nearly 100 library leaders, state and local policy makers, and civic partners convened at the Connecticut State Capitol to explore the opportunities for working more closely and more intentionally with Connecticut's public libraries. Two themes formed the focal point for the daylong discussions: (1) how to leverage the considerable assets of the state's public libraries to build more knowledgeable, healthy and sustain able communities across the state and (2) how to improve the sustainability of public libraries in Connecticut.
Convened by the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries in partnership with the Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Dialogue on Public Libraries examined the work Connecticut's public libraries are already doing individually and collectively to meet community needs, address emerging challenges, and build more connected communities. Participants in the Dialogue also explored the economic and social challenges that are shaping community needs in Connecticut and fiscal challenges affecting library sustainability. Finally, the Dialogue considered new proposals, partnerships, and initiatives to guide collective action by the Connecticut State Library, the 164 local public libraries, and state and community partners.
The Connecticut session was the first in a series of state and local dialogues that will examine issues, challenges, and opportunities facing communities and their public libraries, building on the framework provided by the Aspen Institute's October 2014 report, Rising to the Challenge: Re - Envisioning Public Libraries.
United Way Worldwide;
Through a series of new, standardized measurements, the United Way ALICE Reports present a broad picture of financial insecurity at the county and town level, and the reasons for why. What we found was startling -- the size of the workforce in each state that is struggling financially is much higher than traditional federal poverty guidelines suggest. The United Way ALICE Project is a grassroots movement stimulating a fresh, nonpartisan national dialogue about how to reverse the trend and improve conditions for this growing population of families living paycheck to paycheck.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
California HealthCare Foundation;
With growing demands on primary care and a shortage of primary care clinicians, safety-net clinics are asking, What is the role of the registered nurse (RN) in primary care?
This report describes how 11 community health centers and county health systems in California, as well as two health centers outside California, are using the following strategies to expand the RN role in primary care:
Provide RNs with additional training in primary care skills, so they can make more clinical decisions.Empower RNs to make more clinical decisions, using standardized procedures.Reduce the triage burden on RNs to free up time for other responsibilities.Include RNs on care teams, allowing them to focus on their team's patients.Implement RN-led new-patient visits to increase patient access to care.Offer patients co-visits in which RNs conduct most of the visit, with providers joining in at the end.Deploy RNs as "tactical nurses."Provide patients with RN-led chronic care management visits.Employ RNs' skills to care-manage patients with complex health care needs.Train some RNs to take responsibility for specialized functions.Schedule RNs to perform different roles on different days.Preserve the traditional RN role and focus on training medical assistants (MAs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to take on new responsibilities.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
On July 1, 2011, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass legislation requiring many employers to allow workers to earn paid sick leave; the law took effect six monthslater. It brought paid sick leave to large numbers of part-time workers in the state for the first time, especially in industries like hospitality and retail. The law also prohibits employers
from penalizing covered workers who take paid sick leave, an important protection. The concerns articulated by many business associations that the law would impose heavy burdens on employers and invite worker abuse turn out to have been misplaced; instead the impact of the new law on business has been modest. One reason for this is that the coverage of the statute is limited, affecting only establishments with 50 or more workers and excluding manufacturing businesses as well as nationally chartered non-profit organizations. In short, this path-breaking legislation has brought paid sick leave to tens of thousands of Connecticut workers, with modest effects or none at all on the state's businesses.
This report examines the experiences of Connecticut employers with the state's paid sick leave law. Between June and September 2013, a year and a half after the law went into effect, we conducted a survey of 251 Connecticut employers covered by the new law using a size stratified random sample. In addition, we conducted on-site interviews with managers, using a convenience sample of 15 covered organizations in the state, to assess the impact of the new law in more detail.
The largest increases in paid sick leave coverage after the law went into effect were in health,education and social services; hospitality; and retail. Part-time workers, rarely covered before the law took effect, benefited disproportionately from its passage. Few employers reported abuse of the new law, and many noted positive benefits such as improved morale and reductions in the spread of illness in the workplace.Most employers reported a modest impact or no impact of the law on their costs or busines soperations, and they typically found that the administrative burden was minimal. Finally, a year and a half after its implementation, more than three-quarters of surveyed employers expressed support for the earned paid sick leave law.
Social IMPACT Research Center;
The newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey provide a glimpse of the ongoing impacts of the Great Recession for millions of individuals and families. This snapshot of your community's data includes a comparison of 2010 data to 2009 and 1999, illustrating trends over time.
Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE);
Some of the most promising reforms are happening where school leaders are thinking differently about how to get the strongest student outcomes from the limited resources available. But even principals who use their autonomy to aggressively reallocate resources say that persistent district, state, and federal barriers prohibit them from doing more.
What are these barriers? What do they block principals from doing? Is there a way around them?
CRPE researchers probed these questions with principals in three states (NH, CT, MD). These principals cited numerous district, state, and federal barriers standing in the way of school improvement. The barriers, 128 in all, fell into three categories: 1) barriers to instructional innovations, 2) barriers to allocating resources differently, and 3) barriers to improving teacher quality.
Upon investigation, researchers found that principals have far more authority than they think. Only 31% of the barriers cited were "real" -- immovable statutes, policies, or managerial directives that bring the threat of real consequences if broken.
The report recommends educating principals on the authority they already possess, to help them find workarounds to onerous rules. The report also outlines a number of specific state and district policy changes to grant schools the autonomy they need to improve student outcomes.
Connecticut has offered a voluntary public financing system for state-wide constitutional and General Assembly offices since 2008. Through financing from the Citizens' Election Fund, candidates that obtain the required number of small donations can receive a lump sum to fund their campaign. The program is very popular and in 2012, 77 percent of successful candidates were publicly financed.
This report looks at the impact public financing has had on campaigning, the legislative process, policy outcomes, and the dynamics of the legislature. Empirical data is supplemented with interviews with current and former legislators from both Republican and Democratic parties, elected state officials, and advocates to highlight the impact of public financing in the state. While only a few electoral cycles in, it is clear that public financing is a fundamental step towards a more representative legislative process that is more responsive to constituents.
Building Movements Project;
In Connecticut, the Partnership for Strong Communities (PSC) and a group of advocacy organizations, government agencies, and community providers are leading a campaign to end homelessness in the state. Guided by the vision that "No one should experience homelessness," the Reaching Home Campaign and Opening Doors—Connecticut (the "Campaign") emphasizes housing as an essential platform for human and community development. The Campaign brings together a broad spectrum of partners representing diverse sectors to collectively build the political and civic will to end homelessness. In just three years, the Campaign has already achieved remarkable success advocating for and securing over $300 million in funding for programs to end homelessness and to create permanent supportive and affordable housing. Among its many accomplishments, the Campaign conducted the state's first study of youth experiencing homelessness and released the Opening Doors for Youth plan to end youth homelessness. The Campaign is also closing in on the goal of ending homelessness among Veterans, as well as launching a pilot program to connect families receiving rapid rehousing with employment supports and implementing a successful pilot that identifies and connects frequent users of emergency departments at hospitals to housing and supportive services. To support the Campaign's work at this important juncture as it moves past planning and towards implementation and sustainability, the Melville Charitable Trust—a private foundation and longtime partner of the effort—approached The Building Movement Project (BMP) to conduct a mid-point learning assessment. One goal of the assessment was to help the Campaign take stock of its internal structures and processes. Another goal was to share insights on what it means to coordinate collaboration, given the growing use of "collective impact" as a strategy to address social problems.