These Commission Summaries are intended to provide highlights of the First 5 LA Board of Commissioners’ actions to advance the outcome areas of First 5 LA’s 2015–2020 Strategic Plan.
Highlights from the November 9 Commission meeting include a number of major milestones — including approval of the Help Me Grow-LA partnership with Los Angeles County and First 5 LA’s 2018-2020 Policy Agenda — are featured in this In Depth article.
Below you will find details on other approvals by the Board during this meeting, including: a strategic partnership with SHIELDS for Families as part of a pilot process to expand access to home visiting services; extensions for eight grantees to continue key work with Best Start Community Partnerships; two advocacy-related contracts with California Strategies & Advocacy; amending the bylaws to extend limits for Board officers and a new contract for Executive Director Kim Belshé.
“Moving forward, I’m excited by the innovative work that First 5 LA leadership, staff and Commissioners are doing together with our partners to improve child outcomes on a county wide scale." -Kim Belshé
The Board of Commissioners meets on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m., unless otherwise indicated, at the First 5 LA offices. All meetings are open to the public, and agendas are posted on our website at least 72 hours in advance. Please check our Commission Calendar for all updated meeting information and click here for Commission meeting packets, agendas, summaries and meeting notes.
In an effort to expand access to home visiting services, the Board approved up to $364,743 to fund home visiting services for up to 50 families over 32 months, a pilot project that would expand the eligible population beyond referrals from partnering Welcome Baby hospitals to families receiving CalWORKS supports in a targeted area.
As part of the Countywide Home Visiting Board Motion Response, First 5 LA is working on a pilot effort to expand access to home visiting services in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services and SHIELDS for Families. The pilot is developed in partnership with the county Office of Child Protection (OCP) as a component of the Los Angeles County Prevention Plan submitted the county Board of Supervisors in June. Home visiting programs are a long-standing investment for First 5 LA. More details on the strategic partnership are available here.
In other Board actions:
- Furthering a diverse range of Community Identified Projects, the Commission approved eight amendments totaling $1,976,019 to allow eight grantees to continue implementation of the strategies and activities selected by Best Start Community Partnerships through the “Learning by Doing” process. Some of these activities and strategies include: strengthening social connections and reducing social isolation for parents; strengthening leadership skills of parents/residents; increasing the number of parents who have access to supportive networks and resources; and improving the quality of services provided to young, single, first-time parents of children ages prenatal to age 5.
- In support of statewide advocacy efforts, the Board approved two new agreements with California Strategies & Advocacy, LLC. The first contract is to convene and staff the State Early Care and Education (ECE) Coalition, which creates unified budget and policy asks to state government from the diverse field of ECE advocates. This contract is funded with $100,000 from First 5 California and $150,000 from First 5 LA. The second contract, for a total of $440,000, enlists California Strategies to serve as First 5 LA’s State policy and sustainability advocate.
Additional information on both of these contracts and the eight Best Start amendments are available here.
- The Board also approved an amendment to First 5 LA’s Bylaws to change the existing limit on the number of consecutive terms a Commissioner may serve as an officer of the Board from two to four.
- In one more milestone move, the Commission unanimously approved a third consecutive, three-year contract for First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé. Named as the agency’s Executive Director in November 2012, Belshé’s current contract stems from 2015 and was slated to expire at the end of January, 2018. The new contract begins on February 1, 2018.
Belshé expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to continue to lead First 5 LA and, as is her style, stayed focused on the future.
“Moving forward, I’m excited by the innovative work that First 5 LA leadership, staff and Commissioners are doing together with our partners to improve child outcomes on a county wide scale. By leading with partnership to advance changes in the policies and systems that strengthen families and child well-being, we can ensure that all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life,” she noted. “As Helen Keller said: ‘Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much."