County Family and Children First Councils (FCFCs) have been required in statute since 1993 to develop and implement a process that annually evaluates and prioritizes services, fills service gaps where possible, and invents new approaches to achieve better results for families and children.


In 2006, statutory changes through the passage of House Bill 289 (HB 289) elevated this requirement and increased accountability by requiring FCFCs to establish a process to identify local priorities, monitor the progress of meeting those priorities and develop an annual plan that identifies the local interagency efforts to increase child well-being. Progress of increasing child well-being must be reported on an annual basis to the county's board of county commissioners and Ohio Family and Children First (OFCF).


Guidance on a process to accomplish the above referenced statutory requirements was released in 2006. FCFCs completed a comprehensive planning process that resulted in the submission of their first HB 289 plan in July of 2007. In the years 2008 through 2010 FCFCs tracked their progress on achieving desired results and annually submitted a HB 289 plan and report update.


OFCF and FCFCs are always striving to make improvements for the betterment of Ohio’s families. Feedback received from FCFCs on the HB 289 process and lessons learned over the years provided greater context to the process. Although valuable skills and capacities were developed throughout the HB 289 planning and reporting processes, the processes were duplicating other local comprehensive planning processes.


Because of this duplication, the HB 289 process transitioned into a shared planning model that required the alignment of local plans for addressing priorities related to children and families. The shared planning model is a simplified process that builds on data-informed plans that already exist in the community. The FCFCs were required to do some additional research to support their shared planning and/or fill any data gaps, but were not be required to conduct comprehensive planning. Instead, the FCFCs focused on priorities based on the alignment of members’ plans.


OFCF, in partnership with The OSU Center for Learning Excellence (CLEX) (now known as Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE)), developed the shared planning model. A small group of FCFC directors/coordinators participated in the refinement of the model. The model was then further informed by the 25 county Family and Civic Engagement (FCE) pilots. Feedback received during and after the implementation of the shared planning model indicated that there were inconsistencies in the availability of local plans, the types of plans available, the quality of local plans and the usefulness of local plans in the shared planning model. These inconsistencies led to shared plans of varied quality and substance. Based on this feedback, the results of the previous process, and the rate of turnover of local FCFC coordinators/directors and local FCFC members since the creation of the previous process, this version of the shared planning model was redesigned to align with major components of the Collective Impact Model.


Collective Impact Approach – an approach which brings together different sectors for a common agenda to solve large complex problems – can be applied to existing collaborative work to help facilitate cross-sector engagement to effectively implement their strategies to achieve their desired results. Collective impact is built upon five interconnected components that can produce strong alignment and lead to large scale results. The five components include: Common agenda, Shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, Continuous communication and Backbone support.


OFCF offers this guidance to assist local FCFCs in developing a shared plan through the Collective Impact approach. FCFCs will continue to annually submit their Shared Plan Update (see attachments A & C) to Ohio Family and Children First. The revised and updated shared plan for SFY 2023-2025 will be due August 10, 2022.


The shared planning process will continue on a three-year cycle. During SFYs 2023-2025, the FCFC will monitor its shared plan, annually report measurable progress towards achieving shared outcomes and update the plan. The three-year planning cycle will then culminate in the development of the next shared plan to be submitted in August 2026.