Sometime in the near future, you walk into City Hall and see on the directory hanging on the wall, right under the Department of Parks, the Department of Family Resilience. You’ve made an appointment to meet with the co-directors of the department so you stroll down the hall and enter room 122. Inside you’re greeted by program associate and social marketing expert Rayna who shows you into a large meeting room with a table and seating for 20. The walls are giant whiteboards where people can write on from floor to ceiling. In walk the co-directors Marie, who introduces herself as overseeing research, policy and data. Daniel introduces himself as overseeing continuous quality improvement and training.
Over the course of an hour you learn how this team is tracking ten vital surviving and thriving services across the city and county. They survey all parents and youth yearly to assess ease or challenges accessing services, as well as why challenges might exist. While the city does not provide the ten services, they use their power to leverage with all those nongovernmental agencies who do. The co-directors bring up on their giant wall screen the website that shows a map of the county, with highlighted communities indicating problem areas lacking fully effective and accessible services.
The job of the City Department of Family Resilience isn’t complicated, it is monitoring a process of continuous quality improvement across ten sectors. The department is also collaborating with county staff, school district staff and leadership within local higher education. When gaps are identified in a particular community or with a specific agency, the trio act as a swat team to solve agency challenges meeting the needs of residents. As a result of the funding the Dept of Family Resilience, city residents have been giving high ratings to the user-friendliness of all ten service sectors.
That’s the future we are building to. Until we prove our concept with the 100% Community initiative, we will have to piece together volunteers to form a strong and effective coalition-or more accurately, ten coalitions (each one representing one of the ten surviving and thriving sectors) under one 100% Community coalition.
IN THE PRESENT…
To make the future family-friendly scenario a reality, which involves setting up your local 100% Community initiative, let’s go over 10 steps. Remember, each county is different so these steps may need to be customized to meet your unique needs and capacities.