2018 Accomplishments

Last updated on: Published by: Ali Uscilka 0

Healthy & Active Before 5 is proud to share some highlights of our work in 2018!

HAB45 continued to make healthy choices the default choices in community settings with the Pledge the Practice, Pass the Policy initiative. 4 Contra Costa agencies received mini-grants for healthy policies through HAB45’s Pledge the Practice, Pass the Policy Program, supporting healthier environments for more than 1,000 children and 5,000 adults:

  • Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano (Breastfeeding Support)
  • East Bay Town Center Dental (Healthy Food & Beverage)
  • Monument Impact (Deepening Implementation – Healthy Food & Beverage)
  • Concord Jr. Giants (Deepening Implementation – Healthy Food & Beverage)

 

HAB45 worked to expand access to safe, high-quality parks and outdoor play in low-income communities.

  • In Bay Point, HAB45 partnered with First 5 Contra Costa and the East County Regional Group to advocate for park improvements. Through presentations, public testimony, and individual meetings a total of 12 elected officials have been reached.
  • In Richmond, HAB45 supported First 5 Contra Costa the West County Regional Group to conduct an assessment of 25 parks. Residents completed a total of 288 surveys. Data was analyzed by HAB45 staff and presented to stakeholders.

 

HAB45 engaged its Leadership Council to build capacity and maximize collective impact.

  • 44 Leadership Council members attended the Spring convening to hear the latest research on the relationship between housing and health for young children and families, receive updates from local advocates, and brainstorm ideas for how to and connect with advocacy efforts to address the crisis.
  • 37 Leadership Council members attended the Fall convening focused on why and how non-profits and service providers can engage in advocacy. Attendees honed their advocacy skills in breakout groups and 12 members completed the HAB45 Advocacy Pledge.

 

HAB45 represented the early childhood community in broader efforts that impact families and advanced its Public Policy Agenda.

  • Served on the early childhood subcommittee for Contra Costa Health Services oral health strategic planning
  • Attended events related to the housing crisis impacting Contra Costa families
  • Submitted letters in support of policies related to park improvements, sugary drinks, lactation accommodation, tenant protections, and protecting immigrants’ access to social services

Thank you to our funders and community partners for making these achievements possible!

Survey Results: Pledge the Practice, Pass the Policy

Last updated on: Published by: Ali Uscilka 0

Once a policy is implemented, then what?

Healthy and Active Before 5 (HAB45) decided to find out what happens once a new policy is implemented. In November 2017, we invited all organizations who have passed healthy organizational policies, through our Pledge the Practice, Pass the Policy Initiative, to participate in a survey. Staff from 14 organizations responded to the survey, with each of the major model policies of the initiative represented.

PoliciesRepresented

 

Positive changes

Our respondents shared many positive stories about how their organization’s policies have changed the environment for clients and staff.

 

 “Our organization only provides water and/or naturally flavored water. We’ve had occasions in which a community member will bring in a juice or soda, and participants typically know and will kindly speak out on it.”

 

Healthier vending options, outdoor staff meetings, reduced availability of soda, and a well-supplied lactation room are all examples of these positive changes. In some cases, healthy policies served as a catalyst for further activities to promote the health of young children and families.

 

“Richmond WIC is very breastfeeding-friendly. The breastfeeding room was a catalyst to start breastfeeding support groups, which are the only free public breastfeeding support groups in West County.”

 

Mini-grant funds

HAB45 provides mini-grants to organizations who pass healthy policies. Survey respondents reported how funds were spent:

  • Activity sets for children
  • Water bottles, containers, filters
  • Breastfeeding room furniture
  • Exercise equipment
  • Outdoor Activity fees
  • Staff training
  • Breastfeeding materials & supplies
  • Landscape architect fees
  • Bikes to go between offices
  • Healthy foods & beverages

Challenges

Implementing and sustaining positive change


79% of respondents selected “strongly agree” when asked if their organization’s policy had been implemented successfully soon after it passed.

Only 50% of respondents strongly agreed when asked if the changes had been sustained over time.



The most common challenges reflected in the survey responses were related to staff. Staff turnover presents a particular challenge, because new staff may not be fully informed of the healthy policies.

As one respondent at an organization with a healthy food policy said:

 “The policy initially had an impact on the beverages and foods that staff brought to potlucks and staff were eating healthier. Now, we have several new staff who I do not feel are aware of the healthy snack policy.”

 However, another respondent from an organization that does provide information on their wellness policy to new staff stated,

“The wellness policy gives us a clear way to explain our office rules to new staff.”

Breaking old habits

In addition to challenges related to new staff’s awareness of healthy policies, several respondents mentioned resistance from staff or the difficulty of “breaking old habits” as a barrier to successful implementation.

Respondents described several other challenges, such as lack of enforcement from leadership, the ongoing work of maintaining changes to the physical space, and sustaining changes across multiple sites or programs.

Next Steps

Based on these findings, HAB45 will work with respondents and other partners to deepen the implementation of their healthy policies with additional trainings, enhanced documentation & materials for new staff. We will also provide opportunities to share best practices among agencies who have passed policies.

For their part, survey respondents reported that they are working to promote their policies with partners, consistently bring activities in line with the policies, and further their programming, activities, and internal policies to support the health of all staff and clients.

Thank you to all of the organizations who have passed healthy policies! We realize this work doesn’t end when a policy is passed. We appreciate your ongoing commitment to creating healthier environments for children and families in Contra Costa. If you would like support with implementing an existing policy or passing a new one, please let us know.