Connected Systems

Facilitate connected, high-functioning early childhood systems.

This strategy recognizes the additional value a system provides over and above the contributions of a particular agency within a system. We seek to optimize Orange County’s early childhood system by improving its ability to reach children and families with the services and supports they need and to coordinate to provide seamless services, improve quality, and avoid duplication.

Connected Systems 1: Increase our understanding of coordination gaps and assets within the Orange County systems that impact early childhood outcomes.

To be measured by: Completion of a self-assessment tool that measures the extent to which the system helps families get to the right place(s) where their needs can be met, and the extent to which the system works together when multiple service providers are involved with the same family.

Value of the measure:  To appropriately focus our system improvement efforts, First 5 Orange County must first understand the strengths and weaknesses of Orange County’s early childhood system. This measure will enable First 5 Orange County to establish, in collaboration with system stakeholders, a baseline level of system performance overall and for specific sectors within the system. The self-assessment will also allow system stakeholders to set targets for improvement and identify specific system improvements to help reach those targets.

Connected Systems 2: Improve referrals and connections within and across early childhood systems of care.

To be measured by: Improvement in system coordination based on system reassessment three years after initial assessment.

Value of the measures: Since there are many different networks and pathways in the early childhood system, this objective uses a selection of measures to track performance on how well we are improving referrals and connections across several sectors.

Connected Systems 3: Increase the number of agencies serving young children that align or share data and measurements.

To be measured by:

  • Total number of clients served by active interagency data-sharing agreements.
  • Count of agencies that have aligned client data collection variables, such as uniform intake and referral forms.

Value of the measures: The ability to share client data within and across systems, with appropriate safeguards to protect confidential information, facilitates the system’s ability to be better informed about a family’s full range of strengths and needs, help families get to the right places to have their needs met, and work together more seamlessly.