New strategic plan for CYF

Working collaboratively to select and carry out a limited number of projects systems that affect families

At the March 2012 Consolidated Meetings, the Committee on Children, Youth and Families (CYF) decided to revise its strategic plan, which had not been updated since 2005. In July, working with the new Children, Youth and Families Office director, CYF adopted a strategic planning process and began its work by considering the following questions:

  1. What is psychological science’s potential unique contribution to issues that are important to children, youth and families’ well-being? 

  2. What unique potential solutions to the fundamental problems of human justice can psychology offer? 

  3. What are the existing gaps in what psychological science “knows” and current practice, policy and public information?

These questions were discussed within the contexts of the APA strategic plan and the Public Interest Directorate mission of “Applying psychological science, benefiting society.”

During the Fall 2012 Consolidated meetings, CYF completed its strategic planning process. We began by reviewing the unique contributions and potential gaps that had been identified through our earlier planning conversations. We then addressed the following questions: 

  1. What can a committee do? How can we harness the power of a committee? 

  2. Should our unifying principle be based on a process, a theme or both? 

  3. What potential long-term outcomes we would like to achieve? 

  4. How will we evaluate success?

Through this process, CYF members decided the Committee should work collaboratively to select and carryout a limited number of projects each year that address the overarching theme of Systems that Affect Families. At our next meeting in March 2013, we will consider possible initiatives related to this theme and select the initial project(s) to work on. We will define specific goals, relevant audiences and potential dissemination of any products related to each project.

Future columns will describe our projects and provide updates on our progress in implementing our goals.