By Desiré Shepler, Director, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su
Love. A sense of community. A sense of belonging. The feeling of being cared for. These are things all children should have. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
In 2013, the Mat-Su Health Foundation embarked on a community health needs assessment. As a part of the process, 23 community meetings were held across Mat-Su. Over 500 local residents and professionals spoke out at these community meetings and identified their leading goal: to keep Mat-Su children – all Mat-Su children – well-cared for and safe.
No one agency or sector can tackle this goal alone, so a group of influential champions was convened and asked to consider working together to achieve this goal. These champions, who were each working to improve the lives of children and families in Mat-Su in their individual agencies, committed to a new way of working. A way that moved beyond a single organization – or even single sector – view of the work in favor of a collective approach to working toward the common goal of promoting resilient families and ending child maltreatment. Out of this, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su, a cross-sector collaborative focused on Raising Our Children with Kindness, was born.
Made up of individuals representing the varied communities across the Mat-Su Borough, the partners of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su focus on building relationships and implementing innovative strategies in order to create systems change and connected communities. The ongoing work of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su reflects the genuine passion of a diverse group of community members to realize our vision that all Mat-Su children are safe, healthy and thriving.
Working collectively towards large-scale systems change, in our lifetime, R.O.C.K. Mat-Su will:
- Strengthen families so all children are safe, healthy and thriving
- End child abuse and neglect
- And reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences.
We invite you to join us.