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.”