The goal of School Linked Services (SLS) is to offer a well-designed model for the delivery of coordinated and effective health and social services on school campuses and in the community. This coordinated effort seeks to meet the needs of students and their families in order for children to achieve success in school and in life.
In 2011, then County Board of Supervisor’s President Dave Cortese called for County Department heads to develop a plan to implement the School Linked Services Initiative. A SLS Advisory Committee was convened by Supervisor Dave Cortese, Supervisor George Shirakawa and ESUHSD Superintendent Dan Moser and met monthly from April – November, 2011, concluding with the development of a Strategic Plan. The Board of Supervisors approved the SLS Strategic Plan in January, 2012.
A SLS Implementation Oversight Task Force was formed to oversee and guide the implementation phase of this initiative. The task force’s broad membership includes representation from government agencies, school districts and additional partnering entities, as well as members from philanthropy, business, academia/research, nonprofit, ethnic and cultural populations, faith, juvenile court, foster care, parents and youth.
The task force developed and approved a charter identifying five categories of work essential to the initial phase of SLS. Workgroups were formed and are making progress on deliverables in the areas of Budget and Resource Development, Services Access and Coordination, Training and Technical Assistance, Data Assessment and Evaluation and Parent Engagement and Collaborative Development. A communication plan is under development.
The SLS Oversight Implementation Task Force is setting priorities, providing direction, and championing implementation of the broader SLS initiative. The five workgroups are developing concrete strategies and tools around implementation, sustainability and the expansion of SLS. Concurrently, new services are rolling out across the county, in support of the SLS vision: Children are thriving at home, in school, and in their communities through the care and nurturance of families who love them; and through responsive, effective and coordinated support available from the schools, system services, and community resources that surround them.