Over the past two months, we’ve had the opportunity to hear from hundreds of people that reflect the diversity of our King County region. Through a series of ten community conversations, we received feedback on the direction of the Best Starts for Kids implementation plan.
That input is incorporated into the implementation plan that Executive Constantine transmitted to King County Council on June 1, 2016.
Sheila Capestany, King County’s Strategic Advisor on Children reflected on the insight gained from engaging community members throughout the region.
What stands out for you in reflecting on the community conversations?
First, I’m amazed by how much incredible work is taking place in our communities to support youth and families. I found that people were generally very excited about Best Starts for Kids. I felt a sense of hope across all the communities that Best Starts for Kids is providing an opportunity we haven’t seen before—an opportunity to make a significant positive impact on our kids, youth, families and community.
Was there consensus across the County about the strategies in the current version of the plan?
In some ways yes—however, communities identified with different parts of the plan. Across the board, we heard strong support for focusing on racial equity. We heard great excitement for approaches that will help families be resilient and thrive. There was such richness in hearing various suggestions on how the plan can be responsive to different regions across King County.
How is the draft plan being modified to incorporate community feedback?
We are in the process of adapting the plan to reflect key elements of community feedback. For example, we heard various times that we need to incorporate a multigenerational lens in our approaches given the critical role that extended families play in supporting children. The diversity of community perspectives has ensured that the plan is inclusive.
Executive Constantine will transmit the implementation plan to King County Council on June 1. Council committees and members will hold briefings on the plan throughout the summer. Please check back on our Best Starts for Kids website, the King County Council page and our Best Starts blog for continued updates.