Over the last four months the Scattergood Foundation has been meeting with stakeholders, leaders, and community members about our Place Matters Report. The report challenges all of us to rethink our approaches to solving the problems that challenge the health and well-being of Philadelphia’s children. Place Matters urges policy makers, funders, and others to look beyond the city’s problems and take an asset-based, data-driven approach to improving outcomes for children.
The foundation was compelled to do this work out of frustration of there being dozens of maps that highlight Philadelphia’s problems. These traditional maps of woe don’t tell us anything about how to address the problems we face; and furthermore, neglect to highlight the many assets that can and do mitigate risks in our neighborhoods across the city.
We fundamentally believe to achieve equity for children in Philadelphia, the allocation of resources cannot simply be the same amount of resources in every community, because the risks aren’t equally distributed. Rather we must consider the distribution of assets relative to risks. To date as a city (both public and private entities) we have not approached resource allocation based on strengthening assets in areas with the greatest risk.
In the coming weeks we will be diving deeper into some of the questions Place Matters raises through insights, blogs, and new partnerships. I leave you with a final question to consider: “How can you take an asset-based approach to your work?”.