A Community Implementation Team (CIT) might be formed from the ground up, could be an existing early childhood or community health coalition, or could be an offshoot of an existing coalition with the addition of representatives from critical sectors. The make-up of CITs will vary by community and should reflect each community’s unique needs, resources, and social factors.
Careful consideration should be given to forming a CIT that is comprised of representatives from diverse community sectors. Community sectors are the various categories that community members are divided into for reasons of common social, political, professional, economic, cultural, or religious interests. A diversified CIT membership allows you to take advantage of the knowledge, perspectives, and experiences of a wide array of community members. Take care to include representatives from all sectors who will implement or be affected by the initiative.
Research has demonstrated that if the same players are repeatedly brought to the table “they will invariably have the same conversations they have always had.” In order to generate new conversations, be sure to include unexpected partners in your CIT. These unexpected partners may include individuals who have great influence, those with personal experience with the issue, and others “who have the perspective and ability to shift the conversation towards new thinking and ideas.”
Sectors to Consider for CIT Representation
- Pediatric health care providers
- Administrative medical professionals
Early care and education
- Head Start and Early Head Start
- Child care (resource and referral)
- Child care
Family support and home visiting
- Parents as Teachers
- Healthy Families
- Health department, maternal and child health
- Parent education programs
- Family resource centers
- Child welfare
Interagency Coordinating Council
Mental and behavioral health
Parent advocacy groups
Community service organizations
Once the desired sectors have been identified, consider which individual might be the best representative from each. Consider these guiding questions to determine which stakeholders might be a good fit.
- Who has the influence and leadership to bring about change?
- Who has the time to bring about change?
- Who has the resources to bring about change?
- Who has the desire to bring about change?
- Who has a relationship with the people in whom you want to bring about change?
Take care to ensure that the composition of your Community Implementation Team represents your community’s diversity including cultural, gender, and racial.