Harold Richman of Chapin Hall thanked all who attended, introduced members of the Chapin Hall support staff, and then introduced Martha Moorehouse and Ann Segal to provide concluding remarks from ASPE, the primary project funders.
We have been thinking about the project and where we go from here. We look forward to hearing your plans about where you're going next. I think that the charge to you is really to focus on institutionalizing. We're less concerned about your thinking about how to institutionalize your existing project structure, but really focus on what you need to do to move the work forward for a long period of time. We have been thinking about ways that we could be a part of helping that. One idea we are thinking about--and we'll be glad to have comment on this as we go--is the possibility of having an out-year meeting which would be developed with Chapin Hall. It would not be just show-and-tell. It would be a working meeting to talk clearly about sustainability and institutionalization issues.
We'd also thought that we just now are really engaged around the issues of community work and connections from state to community that have been a thread throughout. Often the sustainability is really tied into the extent to which this is meaningfully related to community-level work and development. (Summary of the out-year meeting held in May, 2001, is available on this website.) So this is an appropriate focus for an out-year meeting. So that is where our thinking is and it has some way to develop.
We are beginning to summarize across the state projects some of the areas of work that have been a concentration. We're interested in what states have been producing. We know that there have been leadership activities. We know that there have been public engagement activities. We know there has been topical work on particular areas of indicators. There have been report releases and we're interested in trying to capture those and to give all participating states more information on what is coming out of this, and show other audiences what has been accomplished.
Also, we always wanted to reach the larger group of states who are engaged in this work, or who should be engaged in this kind of work. So we've got to keep pushing that along and get information out. Chapin Hall will be developing additional reports.
ASPE didn't expect, with the amount of money given to states, that there would be huge leaps. But it has been really satisfying to watch how far states have been able to go, given the limited resources out there. A lot of that comes from states sharing with each other, and we knew that was going to be the most valuable part of this project in the beginning.
We hope that, even beyond the six remaining months of the project that states will continue to share information with each other. This project has helped foster new alliances among child well-being projects.
Funds for this effort are among those that will be used to better understand welfare outcomes. We've reported to congress as we've gone along that this is one of the projects for which we've used money under that category, to develop better data at the state level. One of the topic areas we need to continue to work on is how we understand children's well being during a time of welfare policy change.