Did we really move the needle? Where does my team think we need to go next, and does that effect their productivity? We threw a lot of spaghetti at the wall, do we know why the things that stuck, stuck? What can we learn from last year? These questions rack leadership teams and can be downright frustrating to tackle on your own. With over a decade of growth, Starfish is here to help guide conversations, facilitate focus groups, conduct staffing analyses, and assist you in updating your five-year organizational plans.
We were excited to be selected as a Community Connector anchor by the State of Ohio for FY17. As we reflect on the first year of the program, there are three big takeaways: mentoring works, family engagement really is key, and allies are essential for successfully fighting barriers. Check out our Impact page for a copy of our Annual Report.
Creation of Caring Communities
We’ve learned that the best way to wrap your arms around a problem is to link them with like-minded partners and make a stand together. Rarely does one specific issue prevent potential. Take poverty for example – is it the fact that someone does not make a certain dollar amount, or is something else. We recognize that life can be complex, and there is typically much more going on below the surface. Perhaps, for this family, poverty means: there is a transportation barrier that prevents access to healthy food as corner stores are the only option, kids can’t be picked up or dropped off at prosocial activities, and connecting with gainful employment is far-fetched if you can’t get to work reliably.
Perhaps, for this family, poverty means that mom’s low wage is just enough to disqualify her from certain support, privately-paid childcare is not an option, early education options are limited if she must pick the little one up midday, and her schedule reduces her ability to provide quality supervision for her teenager after school. We warned you, life can be complex. This is why we link arms with our partners and sing a song of needs-based collaboration. We train organizations to construct caring communities to protect their collective outcomes and investment in change.