In 1991, the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation encouraging communities to establish a means to coordinate services provided to children and families. East Hartford responded by forming ChildPlan, Inc. (ChildPlan), a volunteer organization comprised of municipal and community leaders who were interested in assessing and providing for the needs of its children and families. In these early years, ChildPlan was run as a volunteer organization and accomplished a series of initiatives that responded directly to the community’s needs – including developing school-based health centers, family resource centers, a teen center, the wellness center, a youth advisory board, the juvenile review board, and the local prevention council. While communities responded to this legislation in different ways, East Hartford remains one of the few communities in the state that continued with its commitment. Along the way, ChildPlan has challenged itself to change to meet the needs of the community. As evidence of this, in 2003, ChildPlan incorporated and received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status, therein formalizing its growth. This change also positioned ChildPlan to not only serve as an organization that leads the collaboration to assess and provide for the needs of children in East Hartford, but also to draw new resources to the community to meet the community’s emerging priorities. Now eight years into its incorporation, and celebrating its 20 year anniversary as a volunteer organization, ChildPlan is a thriving organization with a full-time Executive Director and a full-time administrative assistant that serve as staff to a robust and highly engaged Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is comprised of thirty-five community leaders, business leaders, parents, and service providers that actively use ChildPlan as their major venue to coordinate service delivery, integrate programs, collaborate with other professionals, and raise awareness of emerging issues, develop creative problem-solving, and develop a unified voice for the interests of East Hartford children and their families.
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