2011: Despite the best efforts of local agencies and individuals, child abuse rates in Lane County remained stubbornly high. The trio who would go on to found 90by30 – Megan Schultz (then of CASA of Lane County), Alicia Hays (Lane County Health and Human Services) and Jeff Todahl (UO College of Education) – knew a new approach was needed. The county needed something else, something specifically targeting child abuse and neglect and fostering prevention. But they wondered: Did the rest of the county agree?
To find out, they put out an open invitation to Lane County residents to a February 2011 forum. As part of the College of Education’s “Next 100 Years” series, 16 panelists - including survivors of abuse and neglect, educators, nonprofit and child welfare workers, members of the faith community, and UO doctoral students – discussed the following scenario:
It is 2030, and, based on our February 5, 2011, rates of child abuse and neglect, we have achieved a 90% reduction in child maltreatment in Lane County. What have we done to achieve this? In particular, what actions did we take and where did we most direct our attention to achieve it? In addition, what are the most important steps to take right now? Finally, what is the University of Oregon's role toward achieving "90by30"?
Roughly 225 people attended the forum, and all were eager to realize this 90 percent reduction. The mechanism for such a sea change? 90by30, a campus-community partnership rooted in primary prevention and attuned to local concerns and needs.
In the spring of 2011, the original 90by30 Steering Committee convened to explore the possibility of establishing an ongoing prevention effort. Representatives on the committee were as diverse as the panelists at the forum, including people from the faith community, education, child welfare, business, service groups, government, law, and survivors of abuse and neglect. They decided as a group to move forward with organizing the first phase of what would become 90by30.
Phyllis Barkhurst was hired in October 2011 as a consultant to support the development of the organization’s infrastructure. In April 2012, the Ford Family Foundation granted the initial foundation funds to 90by30, joining Lane County, the UO, and private donors to officially launch the effort.
In 2013, 90by30, as part of the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect, launched the countywide Random Digit Dial Survey. This scientifically sound telephone survey spoke to residents across Lane County to achieve a baseline understanding of attitudes, knowledge and behaviors related to child abuse and its prevention. Washington's Whatcom County served as a comparator county, receiving the same survey so that, over time, CPAN can examine the differences between Lane County and a similar county not engaged in a countywide child abuse prevention effort. To learn more about this survey, click here to download the PDF summary or here to download the full report.
Simultaneously, 90by30 staff, interns and graduate students spent more than two years conducting an exhaustive and global literature review (a search for information) on child abuse prevention strategies being implemented across the globe. They amassed a list of several thousand strategies and then used tailored screening criteria, which especially considered realities like cost, to create a list, organized by protective factor, from which each region would choose strategies to best fit the area.
In this five year period, 90by30 also built the on-the-ground infrastructure to select and implement eventual child abuse prevention plans. The county was divided into seven geographic regions, mostly along school district lines but also by where families live and work:
- South Lane
- East Lane
- West Lane
- North Lane
- McKenzie river
A Regional Leadership Team (RLT) was formed in each region. Each team is community-led by local residents volunteering their time to plan and implement regionally chosen child abuse prevention strategies. Community members - including parents, teachers, nonprofit and business leaders, faith community representatives, and other stakeholders - are responsible for choosing a unique blend of strategies to best fit the needs of their own communities.
The initial task for each team was to organize itself, conduct surveys from the area, inventory local resources, and develop a map of community assets. These steps comprised a year-long prevention planning process, in which the teams used the protective factor framework to select a blend of proven prevention strategies - a blend best suited to their own region - from a vetted list.
As of the end of July 2017, thanks to support from The Ford Family Foundation, each of the five rural regions have completed their prevention planning process and are working hard on their implementation plans. You can find more information on each team, the strategies they have chosen, and their timeline for implementation under "Regions."
The years from 2017 to 2030 will see 90by30, its RLTs, and partners implement these seven individual regional plans. In addition, 90by30 will implement the countywide Play Your Part social norm campaign, support April's Child Abuse Prevention Month, hold an annual conference and continue to collaborate and align its efforts with community partners and other groups.