Santa Rosa, CA – February 24, 2020 – An innovative, County of Sonoma Board of
Supervisors’ initiative to train and support community and government agencies
in strategies to boost their impact on societal challenges is 10 years old.
To celebrate this milestone,
Upstream Investments will be honored with a Gold Resolution from the Board of
Supervisors on Friday, February 28, 2:30 – 3:00 p.m., during the Upstream
Investments Policy Committee meeting at 2227 Capricorn Way, Santa Rosa. The
public and anyone involved with Upstream is invited to join the celebration.
Since approval by the Board in 2009, Upstream Investments has trained hundreds of social service program
managers and staff from the County, cities, other public agencies and
non-profits in how to build and implement proven, evidence-based, prevention-focused
programs to improve the lives of residents over the lifespan.
“The Board wanted to find a systematic way to support programs that
build better futures for residents rather than just those that intervene in
problems that already exist,” says Board Chair Supervisor Susan Gorin. “We
wanted to encourage programs that were effective in preventing societal issues, program that increase opportunities for
quality education, positive health outcomes and economic wellness for all.”
Upstream’s nationally-recognized strategy to “Invest early, wisely and
together” continues to be adopted by County
departments, non-profits, school districts and local funders. The
effectiveness of Sonoma County’s Upstream Investments was highlighted in a 2018
Pew Charitable Trusts article, How
Counties Can Use Evidence-Based Policymaking to Achieve Better Outcomes.
The Board strategically chose the Upstream Investments collective
impact model, which has been successfully adopted by other U.S. counties and
cities, to create a shift in the way social services operate in the County. The Board of Supervisors’ interest in prevention-focused
strategies was inspired by concerns over an increase in the number of residents
in the local criminal justice system.
“Investing in prevention,” says Supervisor Shirlee Zane, “is a way of
providing services to family and individuals that, not only do we believe is
cost-effective, but the outcomes are so much better.”
"The Upstream Investment program leads the way in terms of
leveraging resources and providing measurable outcomes,” says Supervisor David
Rabbitt. “Ultimately, the individual on the other end is receiving the best
possible benefit of services.”