Using data to improve well-being in Camden Promise Neighborhoods

In late 2016, Camden’s Center for Family Services was announced as one of the Federal Promise Neighborhood awardees. The Promise Neighborhood initiative is based on Geoffrey Canada’s groudbreaking Harlem Children’s Zone model, which builds up social services around a community’s children and their families to ensure they have the support they need to succeed.

Like the Harlem Children’s Zone, the Camden Promise Neighborhood will be a comprehensive, “cradle to career” pipeline for children in five contiguous Camden neighborhoods. A five year, $30 million grant will bolster the capacity of social services within these neighborhoods to address social risk and social determinants of health.

A core principle of the program is using data to drive decisions and evaluate impact. That’s where the Camden Coalition comes in. With our Camden ARISE program, we have been working to integrate the city’s public data systems, including health, education, and social services data, to create a multidimensional picture of citywide challenges. The Camden Promise Neighborhood is an opportunity to apply our integrated data capabilities to help solve some of these challenges.

Through the Camden Promise Neighborhood initiative, we’re working on creating a comprehensive case management platform to screen and assess children and families, refer them to the right services, and track their engagement and progress. We will also be able to use our linked administrative data to evaluate the program’s long-term outcomes and the collective impact of the Promise Neighborhoods partnerships.

“Our clinical work has been focused on the outliers [of the health system], but we also need to have effective solutions in place to support kids and families,” said Aaron Truchil, Director of Strategy and Analytics at the Camden Coalition. He noted that the Camden Promise Neighborhood will work to protect the city’s children from the early life trauma that often underlies the health struggles of patients in our care management intervention, hopefully decreasing the likelihood that they become part of our high-need patient population at all. “This is a great opportunity for Camden ARISE to be involved in something so central to Camden.”