Tuesday, Dec 19, 2017

Community Action Economic Mobility Initiative

 

 

Click here to access the Whole Family Approaches Information Session event recording

Click here to download the slide deck from the December 13th Information Session


Project Overview

The Annie E. Casey Foundation awarded a grant of $250,000 to the Community Action Partnership (Partnership) to design and implement the Community Action Economic Mobility Initiative. With this funding, the Partnership will offer CAAs a multi-tiered system of support that builds their capacity to pursue a new approach to help families achieve mobility from poverty.

This multi-tiered system has been designed to coordinate with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Community Services, Community Services Block Grant Learning Communities Resource Center. As part of the Community Action Economic Mobility Initiative, training, technical assistance, and other support will be offered to CAAs with varying levels of readiness to pursue integrated services and a whole family approach (two-generation approach). 

This project will  be facilitated in coordination with The Learning Community and is intended to provide additional support to CAAs at varying levels of readiness to pursue integrated services and a whole family approach.  This new initiative will include:

  • Whole Family Approach to Economic Mobility from Poverty (Whole Family Approach LCG):  Enhancing knowledge about two generation approaches and considering new practices to meet the needs of parents and children together, so that outcomes are enhanced for parents, children, and families as a whole. 
  • A Whole Family Approach to Economic Mobility from Poverty (Whole Family Approach) Community of Practice (COP):  A COP is similar to a LCG and based on the same learning model; however, the COP is designed to meet the needs of members who are farther along in implementing new practices. The ideal COP agencies have an advanced knowledge of the focus area and have already piloted some initial activities, programs or strategies.  
  • A Whole Family Institute:  The Institute will provide in-person peer-learning opportunities for approximately 30 CAA teams pursuing a whole family approach, strategy, or program.  The cost is $300, plus travel to Washington, DC.
  • Intensive Technical Assistance and Coaching:  This will include deep technical assistance and coaching to support whole family approach implementation and data interoperability planning and piloting.
  • Knowledge-building and Resource Development for Community Action Network:  National Webinar presentations and Partnership national conference presentations will highlight emerging topics related to Whole Family approaches. New resources will be developed related to integrated services/two generation approaches and data interoperability.

Whole Family Approaches Learning Community Group (LCG)

Learning Community Group (LCG) Framework

The Learning Community model seeks to accelerate organizational change by:

  • Expanding the number of learners involved at one time;
  • Supporting the critical organizational change needed over time; 
  • Requiring accountability to a plan of action; and
  • Sharing what was learned out across the broader CSBG Network.

This LCG will focus on enhancing knowledge about two generation approaches and considering new practices to meet the needs of parents and children together, so that outcomes are enhanced for parents, children, and families as a whole. Participants in this group will convene virtually and in-person to capitalize on peer-to-peer learning opportunities, receive access to intensive training and technical assistance, be connected to relevant and current resources, and develop a deeper understanding of best practices related to shifting to a whole family approach.

Learning Community Group (LCG) Timeframe

Similar to the other intensive Learning Community Groups that are being offered through The Learning Community, participants in the Whole Family Approach LCG will convene virtually and in-person over 9 months and will transition through four phases - Formation, Knowledge Building, Implementation, and Practice Transformation. 

Learning Community Group (LCG) Expected Outcomes

We anticipate CAAs will improve outcomes for parents, children and the whole family by:

  • Realigning and restructuring programs and systems to enhance outcomes for children and parents and learn new methods to predict, test, learn and revise services;
  • Using new tools which integrate parent and child data to measure progress for intended whole family outcomes; and
  • Catalyzing cross-sector community efforts to improve opportunities and supports for children and parents, including developing new partnerships and aligning support strategies.

Learning Community Group (LCG) Prospective Participants

The Partnership will select 10-15 agencies to participate in each of the Intensive LCGs. To be considered for the respective LCGs applying agencies must demonstrate the following:

  • Evidence of implementation/practice related to focus area of the sought after LCG.
  • Strong leadership team representation from the local agency.
  • Demonstrated ability to track and manage data based on results and outcomes.

Whole Family Approach Community of Practice (COP)

Community of Practice (COP) Framework

The Whole Family Approach COP will focus on the theory that when services are integrated to meet the needs of parents and children together, efficiency is improved and outcomes are enhanced for parents, children, and families as a whole.  Whole family approaches, also known as a two-generation approach recognize the challenges, successes and well-being of children and their parents are intertwined. Studies have shown that children are adversely affected when their parents experience economic hardship, and conversely, parents’ ability to succeed in their educational and workforce pursuits is often contingent upon access to supports for their children. Whole family approaches focus on providing high-quality services to parents and children together.  This approach may focus on changes and new services and strategies at the participant, program, organizational, and/or system levels.  Whole family approaches can be found on a continuum and developed on a number of different program platforms, including early childhood education, housing, financial capability, work force, and secondary education.

The COP will focus on helping members develop a theory of change that guides the agency’s effort to shift to a whole family approach.  Along with the theory of change, COP members will focus on discovering knowledge that is useful for achieving maximal outcomes from their approach, system, or collaborations.  Through a process of prediction, testing, learning, and revision the agency can continuously evolve toward the goal set out in their theory of change. Like the LCG, the COP framework will convene virtually and in-person throughout the year and will use a peer learning model to enhance knowledge of best practices related to shifting to a whole family approach.  CAAs in the COP will also have access to customized coaching and technical support from subject matter experts.  CAAs in the COP will be supported in not only realigning and restructuring services internally, but also catalyzing efforts in their community to support parents and children together. 

In CAAs with multiple programs and independent data systems, data sharing and managing and analyzing data to determine progress toward goals is an ever-present challenge for service integration efforts including those that serve parents and children together. As part of the COP, CAAs will have access to the Community Action Data Interoperability (CADIO) project, which will use a data standard, and data store approach to facilitate breakthrough learning, and new solutions to data interoperability.  It is also feasible that the technical assistance provided by the CADIO may reduce some duplicative development of protocols across agencies, saving some expense related to certain data interoperability solutions.    

Community of Practice (COP) Timeframe

The Partnership expects resources for the COP to be available in 2018 and 2019.  Shifting to a whole family approach takes time and we expect agencies will spend much of 2018 developing and refining their theory of change, securing partners, co-designing with customers, and completing other important foundational tasks.  To accommodate agency support needs we have planned for the COP to be a two-year process.

Community of Practice (COP) Expected Outcomes

Similarly to the Whole Family Approach LCG, we anticipate CAAs will improve outcomes for parents, children and the whole family by:

  • Realigning and restructuring programs and systems to enhance outcomes for children and parents and learn new methods to predict, test, learn and revise services;
  • Using new tools which integrate parent and child data to measure progress for intended whole family outcomes; and
  • Catalyzing cross-sector community efforts to improve opportunities and supports for children and parents, including developing new partnerships and aligning support strategies.

Community of Practice (COP) Prospective Participants

Ten CAAs will be selected as members of the COP.  Project teams should include agency decision-makers, program staff, and staff with some level of data collection experience with the ability to evaluate data and track outcomes. The COP members will include CAAs who are farther along in implementing whole family practices, they likely have been building their knowledge of the focus area for a while and have already piloted some initial activities, programs or strategies.  CAAs who have been working on service integration and/or bundling services and would like to continue their efforts should consider applying for the COP.  CAAs that have been working to adopt some form of two-generation approach/strategy/or policy should consider applying for the COP.  Also CAAs who have high quality early childhood programs and high quality work force services for parents and the desire to integrate both for children and parents at the same time should consider applying for the COP.

 


Whole Family Approach Institute

In June 2018 the Community Action Partnership will hold a Whole Family Approach Institute in the Washington, D.C. area.  The Institute will provide in person peer-learning opportunities for approximately 30 CAA teams pursuing a whole family approach, strategy, or program. This Institute will be held in conjunction with the Rural Integration Model for Parents and Children to Thrive (IMPACT) 2018 convening.

CAAs will have an opportunity to bring three members of their leadership team to the Institute.  The Institute will focus on building and sharing knowledge across CAAs at various levels of readiness to shift to service integration or a whole family approach.   Subject matter experts will help agencies with issues such as developing and refining a theory of change, furthering plans to co-design the whole family approach with families, integrating data systems, developing partnerships, and braiding/blending funds. A new Community Action guide on how to shift to a whole family approach will be used as a basis for much of the knowledge building.  A portion of the agenda will include learning about the Community Action Data Interoperability (CADIO) project, which will use a data standard and data store approach to facilitate breakthrough learning and new solutions to improve data interoperability. 

Experience has demonstrated that in-person activities are an essential component of successful peer-learning and practice transformation.  Agencies should plan for 3 members of their leadership team to attend the Institute with a registration fee of approximately $300 per team member, plus travel to Washington, D.C.  


How Can I Apply?

Please visit Community Action Academy to submit your application

Click on the image above for a step-by-step review on how to submit your Learning Community Application!