Basic Points to Consider in Writing the State Plan
Effective state plans provide essential information clearly and concisely. Supporting back-up information (e.g., detailed demographic data, reports, consumer surveys, etc.) typically is provided in an appendix or in a separate document.
Presenting essential information "clearly" means:
- No jargon
- No acronyms
- Language the citizens served by the aging (and disability) network will understand
- Use of graphic elements (charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations) to highlight key information
Concise means "get to the point" quickly. The reader should not drown in small details. Key points will be missed if they are buried in too much detail. Make it easy for the reader to understand what the Aging Network intends to accomplish during the next 2-4 years and how planned activities will benefit older persons and caregivers in the state. It is recommended that the State Plan be no more than 20 to 30 pages in length with the opportunity to attach data and other reports in appendices. For example, attachments may be used for demographic data, the Intrastate Funding Formula (IFF), surveys, special initiatives, public hearing information, AAA listings, etc.
This guide describes five selections in a State Plan Narrative:
- Executive Summary
- Outcomes and Performance Measures
Bear in mind, these elements are not meant to be a formal "State Plan template," but rather to provide essential information to be included. There are a variety of ways to weave this information together and to communicate it in the Plan.
Key Decision Points
- Mission & Values
- Environmental Scanning
- Issues Identification
- Needs Identification
- Assets Identification
- Barriers Identification
- Goals & Objectives
- Outcomes & Performance Measurement
- The Plan