HISTORY OF THE CHESTERFIELD COUNTY COORDINATING COUNCIL
Members of the professional human services community became frustrated and concerned with the rise in juvenile crime and the treatment of youthful offenders. Realizing that working with youth is not an exclusive function of their agencies, the two took their concerns to the Chesterfield County residing legislator.
Mrs. Jean Harris convened a meeting of all local state agency representatives and county government officials to discuss the issues of prevention, intervention, and treatment of juvenile offenders and other issues. It became obvious at the first meeting, in early 1993, that many agencies in the county had common problems and some of these problems were not limited to youth-related issues. It was also discovered that services to county residents were being duplicated, that resources were limited, and that the quality of services was not what it could be in many cases.
The group began to meet monthly, forming the Chesterfield County Coordinating Council and has continued to grow in its membership of county human service providers. The CCCC adopted a mission statement and obtained incorporation 501(c)(3) status in late 1996. The Council continues to assess current and needed services and identifies critical issues facing the county. Subcommittees have formed: Youth Development Coalition, Health, Program & Resource Directory Update, Volunteer. The Adult Interagency Treatment Team was long-standing and works closely with the CCCC since each agency is a CCCC participant.
Projects to date to which the group has committed include:
1. Development of a countywide resource manual updated in 2002 and posted on the website so that it is accessible by all agencies.
2. Maintain and enhance the countywide Youth Development Coalition that participates in the federal Drug Free Communities initiative to prevent teen substance use, works closely with the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on projects to reduce teen pregnancy, and surveys students annually about risky behavior and their exposure/participation in violence. This Coalition is a partner with the Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life at Clemson University on a NIH funded research project studying teen dating violence in a rural community.
3. Implementation of a Blast Meals Program with grants from the local United Way and a nutritional supplement program both for vulnerable adults.
4. The CCCC Health Subcommittee implemented the Wise Walkers program to increase physical activity in middle school youth in 2012, partnered with other initiative to produce the Taste of Health: A Community Conference About Living Better in 2009 to provide resources and support to local churches, community groups, and individuals about healthy living, and is embarking on a countywide engagement assessment in 2013-2014.
5. Supports the Chesterfield & Marlboro Assistance Network that uses the Charity Tracker software to coordinate indigent services between agencies. This committee produces the annual Point In Time Homeless Count, also
6. Production of the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon to assist small agencies within the county to promote and maintain volunteer opportunities.
7. Retention of a Director to serve as staff to the Council and assist the subcommittees. The Director is paid from a pool of agency and grant funds.
A seed of true cooperation has grown into a thriving commitment by all members of the Chesterfield County Coordinating Council to provide quality services to our residents through a unified effort, working together to reach common goals.