Unified Erie and the Erie County Policy and Planning Council for Children and Families, or PPC, releases their new community action plan. Many elements of the last action plan, developed in 2012, will continue in addition to some new strategies.
The Community Action Plan is an outline to change Erie for the better. The ultimate goal is to promote positive youth development and reduce risks of undesirable behavior. It’s based off of data from the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, the Health Department, OCY, Juvenile Probation, amongst others.
Andrea Bierer, Community Action Plan Coordinator for Unified Erie, says, “…there’s about 60 of them that work on this plan. Then, they hand it to me, and then the strategies they come up with become my job description, my marching orders.”
Right now, it’s her job to work on the three identified risk factors that predict problematic youth behaviors. “The new risk factors that I’m going to be working on are family management, low perceived risk of drug use, and family history of anti-social behaviors.”
The plan also identifies three protective factors that buffer children from risk and help them succeed in life. That includes community rewards for prosocial involvement, school opportunities for prosocial involvement, and religiosity. “You can’t just do enforcement, you can’t just work on the people who have a problem right now. You have to be focusing on prevention because otherwise, there will constantly be new people aging into those same issues,” Bierer tells us.
The Annual Youth Work Awards and the Take me to Worship Campaign are both strategies from the 2012 plan that will stick around in the new plan. Community leaders and elected officials showed their support and enthusiasm in pursuing the new plan.
Mayor Joe Schember says, “…this is an effort of every law enforcement agency that’s in Erie, both across the city, the county, the Sheriff’s office, the state… and even the Federal with Marshall Piccinini involved. If we can work together, I just believe we can accomplish so much more and that’s what I love about this program.”
To view the plan in its entirety, click here.