Cowlitz Community Charter

The Cowlitz Community Charter was established through a consensus-based community process and is hosted by the Cowlitz Community Network. The Charter brings together a majority of community health and social service agencies who have established a common agenda to guide the work in the community and increase collaboration across sectors to achieve shared goals.

The overall objective of the Charter is to increase the capacity of agencies serving vulnerable children and their families to better meet their needs. The vision is that clinics, child care centers, agencies, and organizations – both public and private – will work together as a coordinated system to increase access and capacity to build resiliency in the lives of vulnerable families and children in Cowlitz County. Please email if you would like to join the Cowlitz Community Charter.

2020-21 Child Care Partnership Grant

Members of the Cowlitz Community Charter are working together to improve access and expand child care capacity in our community.

In 2020, the Network sought funding and was awarded a Child Care Partnership Grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce, and matching funds from the Seattle Foundation, to develop an action plan to stabilize and expand child care capacity in Cowlitz County. The study provides our community with information needed to identify and implement strategies to improve access to child care for local families. More than 700 Cowlitz County families were surveyed, including parents and guardians of children enrolled in local school districts, child care centers, social services, parenting, support, and after school programs. School districts were instrumental in survey collection efforts and a diverse network of community partners gathered responses from the families they serve. Visit the Child Care Partnership page for more information.

2020 Annual Agenda and Objectives

Since 2014 child serving agencies in Cowlitz County have been collaborating to understand the most pressing problems in our community for vulnerable children and to propose common sense strategies that multiple agencies can use to address identified gaps in our coordinated system of care.

We declare that in 2020 issues regarding child care are a critical priority, and that we must spread community awareness of the current support needs for children and families, and the effects that ripple outward across the system due to gaps in services. We are especially focused on the families of children with severe behaviors and those who support them.

Throughout the year all are encouraged to:

1) Contribute information towards a report on the magnitude and urgency of this problem and information on specific strategies to address the gaps that are present

2) Educate your colleagues and peers about the local child care crisis and local solutions that could help

3) Identify champions and advocates and connect them to activities organized through the Community Charter