There is a powerful African proverb that says, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” But what does this actually look like in practice? Sector leaders are searching for effective strategies for organizational development, funding, and community justice. More than ever, leaders in the sector are understaffed and challenged by pay, an even heavier burden for smaller community-based organizations. Do past management styles hold value in today’s environment? What changes should leaders make?
A phenomenal cast of experts, ranging from leaders of a small community-based organization to a large state-based agency, will discuss sector-wide challenges that need to be addressed. Leaders want practical methods for diversity and inclusion development within their teams. They must also acknowledge all partnerships as equal to build a community that values safety, justice, and voice. Systemic change is always the call, but there are many power dynamics leaders must recognize in collaborations that can serve as a catalyst to change. The leaders in this workshop will share examples of the successful strategies their organizations have implemented as well as challenges they’ve experienced.
- Inequities in partnerships and collaborations for CEOs
- Effective strategies aligned with EDI to develop staff, managers and relationships
- Effective funding strategies for smaller community-based organizations and the challenges they face to sustain
- Benefits, strategies, and examples of connecting the “spider web”
Senior Program Manager
Crystal Bennett, LMSW
DEI Specialist, CEO
Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Children’s Home Society of Washington
Ladies In Power
Many social service providers want to improve outcomes for families. To do this, they seek tools that draw deeply from the science of early childhood development and use a two-generation approach to easily incorporate principles of human-centered design. This workshop will discuss an overarching framework for the kind of support caregivers really need—holistic support that builds executive functioning, is grounded in respect, and structured around tangible economic mobility and family goals. Engaging with all types of families collaboratively and responding in the moment to how they are experiencing a program so that it can be adapted appropriately will also be highlighted. The focus is on designing programs that don’t cause further stress and re-traumatization to families, but rather to help them feel more in control of their futures.
The Children’s Home Society of America (CHSA) member organizations have partnered with Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child (HCDC) and EMPath to inform the development of two tools that can be easily and affordably applied across a range of human services settings to help improve child and family outcomes. Science X Design (SxD) from Harvard is a process that supports organizations and teams in identifying a problem informed by three dimensions: Science, the family voice, and the wisdom of program staff. SxD has recently been adapted as a digital open access tool. EMPath’s Mobility Mentoring provides much-needed tools for staff to engage with parents and caregivers as well as to measure the impact of the program. It features the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency which has been proven to support families while they achieve goals that improve financial stability, like securing employment, housing, building up savings, and completing professional training.
- About CHSA’s evidence-informed and evidence-generating projects
- Lessons learned through these projects
- No- and low-cost tools and approaches to achieve better outcomes with children and families
Senior Program Manager
Harvard Center for the Developing Child
Nicki Ruiz de Luzuriaga
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Director of Child Well-Being
Children’s Wisconsin Community Services
Children’s Home Society of America
In this workshop, Starr Commonwealth will discuss the integration of trauma-informed, sensory-based occupational therapy into behavioral health therapy via the “co-treatment approach.” This specialized approach enhances the developmentally appropriate, play-based tactics that help young children who have experienced trauma heal. This session will include discussion and demonstrations of activities conducted to assist participants in understanding the foundations of this specialized approach as well as how the developmentally informed strategies appear in practice.
Check out this article, authored by presenters Jenny Sloan and Sara Gariepy, referencing these practices in the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.
- Enhance knowledge of child development and integrate theoretical approaches to engaging children
- Adopt and develop at least three new strategies to engage clients in developmentally informed activities
- Evaluate your own historical journey of “play” and explore how your experiences as “players” informs your approach with play-based, developmentally informed interventions
Jenny Sloan, LMSW CTRT CTP-C
Behavioral Health Clinician
Woods Services’ System of Care is comprised of six organizations that share a common mission: Providing life-cycle care to people with intellectual disabilities, autism, medical and behavioral health challenges, and those involved in the child welfare system. Across the system of care, a diverse workforce of 6,000 people are employed. Their robust employee engagement strategy serves as one of the transformational cornerstones Woods has experienced over the last six years. Qualified employees who stay over time are critical to carrying out their shared mission, leading directly to improved consumer outcomes. Woods System of Care recognizes by doing better for employees, everyone wins.
In this dynamic workshop, an executive leader from Woods and one of its affiliates will highlight case studies to illustrate best practices along the continuum of recruitment, retention, training, professional development, and support of employees who are tasked with delivering services to multiple populations across 200 programs. These best practices are aligned with COA Accreditation standards, going beyond role clarity by matching job requirements to training. They promote innovative thinking and creativity, offer professional development, and provide trauma-informed support to staff. Woods and its affiliates have implemented diverse strategies, such as designing accessible career ladders for advancement, providing free onsite health care, as well as heavily subsidized degree programs with a dedicated staff person working to help employees navigate enhanced benefits and coach them through barriers to earning their degree. In addition to innovative trauma-informed approaches, such as offering vicarious trauma workshops and a “Sanctuary” meditation room, Woods System of Care provides career mobility across organizations where they are located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Join this workshop to hear examples and strategies relevant for all types of health and human services providers.
- Gain insight into common workforce challenges many health and human services organizations face
- Learn how to incorporate employee engagement strategies into your own organization
- Identify creative financing strategies to help offset costs of enhanced benefits
President and CEO
Tabor Children’s Services
Assistant Vice President of Employee Training and Development
Karen Wilkins, MHRM, SHRM-CP, PHR
Chief Human Resources Officer
Kinship navigation programs across the country are innovating rapidly to meet the needs of families and prevent entry into foster care—but how are these programs strategically and equitably meeting the learning needs of their frontline staff and kinship caregivers? Join Ohio’s Kinship and Adoptive Navigation (OhioKAN) regional director and statewide trainer to learn how their program tackled the redesign of their onboarding training for new hires as well as the implementation of neuroscience-informed trauma training for kinship caregivers. In this workshop, you’ll learn about Ohio’s statewide approach to gathering feedback on staff onboarding experiences, how to leverage a variety of learning tools to promote learner engagement, how to strategize the implementation of a new learning management system (LMS), and a practical application of equity principles in developing curricula for frontline staff and kinship caregivers. If you or your organization are committed to equity and looking to facilitate a culture of continuous learning for both your staff and the communities they serve, this workshop is for you!
- How to strategize, implement, and integrate key training objectives with overall family-serving staff onboarding
- How to use an equity framework to create a resilient workplace culture of continuous, peer-based learning
- Methods and tools, such as focus group design and learner profile development, for gathering feedback from frontline staff and families with lived experience to inform the design of a responsive, innovative curriculum on a learning management platform.
Associate Policy Analyst
Chapin Hall at University of Chicago
As organizations continue to seek increased impact with children, families, and communities, it is key to create a culture of continuous learning, improvement, and innovation. This session will cover various strategies for effectively implementing quality improvement and human-centered design (HCD) systems.
This session will share how human-centered design can be helpful for engaging staff at all levels and delve into how Congreso de Latinos Unidos implemented a comprehensive HCD that spanned the whole organization and more than 50 programs. Participants will leave with practical tools, tips, and techniques for shifting from a culture of compliance to a culture of innovation.
- Key components of human-centered design and how they can be applied to the interconnected topics of quality assurance, quality improvement, performance management, and quality management (especially related to multi-service agencies and government-funded programs)
- Review a newly created Human-Centered Program Design Toolkit, developed by Congreso, which includes specific techniques that have been adapted for use in human services
- Challenges and opportunities associated with the shift from a culture of compliance to a culture of innovation, including practical steps to take in your organization to create buy-in and positive impact for staff and the communities you serve
VP for Quality Management
HeartShare Human Services of New York
Chief Program Officer
Congreso de Latinos Unidos
The “Great Resignation” is creating a burden on organizations nationwide, especially in meeting contractual deliverables, retaining skilled staff, and recruiting new staff. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics stated that COVID-19 contributed to one of the largest employee attrition rates, particularly in health care. Nonprofit management teams critically rely on strong leadership from within, and oftentimes, staff are promoted into management roles based on clinical excellence but are not provided a strong foundation related to leadership competencies like:
- Supervisory alliances
- Critical thinking as a supervisor
- Organizational management and administration
- Staff development
- Professional standards
- Program development
- Quality assurance related to performance evaluations
That is why every organization needs a “bench” of skilled players on their team. This workshop will discuss a Leadership Training Academy’s 12-month curriculum for new and emerging leaders that develops these competencies.
By examining behavioral health case studies, participants will learn about components of a successful organizational response to low staff morale and burnout. Participants will also learn about needs-based assessment processes aimed at identifying future leaders internally and gain practical tools to improve retention in their own organizations.
- How to maximize the “we” in our post-pandemic workplace by proactively ensuring staff retention and building positive team morale despite ongoing barriers and challenges
- How investing in your team by using systematic problem-based learning and self-reflection can result in higher employee retention rates, improved employee morale, and ultimately better client outcomes
- Real-world case studies related to the “Leadership Training Academy” that effectively demonstrate how employee investments can improve organizational performance outcomes and staff retention
Managing Director of Behavioral Health Services
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT
Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT
The child welfare system is impacted by and is an agent for systemic racism in the U.S., with Black and Brown children disproportionately represented. Inequity and trauma are negatively impacting the children in their daily functioning, as well as staff dealing with vicarious trauma and burnout. All these factors and more encourage us to avoid conversations about race and identity within residential treatment facilities, and we simply cannot.
This workshop is an introduction to ways in which the Hephzibah Children’s Association has puzzled through these complex issues. The organization’s Children’s Equity Committee tackles ways to address issues of race, ethnicity, power, and gender both in direct work with the kids and in support of staff and the Hephzibah community. It is a voluntary and open group of staff within the group home in varying roles ranging from direct care staff on the units to the social workers, therapists, a behavioral-analyst, and a nurse. Its focus has been twofold; creating safety within the group to support difficult and emotional topics and not burden staff of color, and consistently reassessing according to the feedback from the children on what they need. This session will help participants prioritize perseverance over perfection with lessons learned from Hephzibah Children’s Association.
- Lessons learned by Hephzibah Children’s Association and actionable guidance on in addressing issues of race and identity
- The connection between discomfort, perfectionism, and white supremacy and guidance on modeling, reckoning with, and moving through imperfection as a barrier to educating, building resilience and encouraging connection with youth in care
- The benefits and successes of this work
Hephzibah Children’s Association
Hephzibah Children’s Association
Focusing on simple, practical, and adaptable strategies that can be effectively integrated into the busiest of days, this workshop will provide an overview of the impact of chronic elevated stress on physical and mental health based on our current understanding of neuroscientific research. Utilizing a combination of didactic information and experiential exercises, participants will learn the seven evidence-based stress busters and how to incorporate them into their own daily lives, as well as applying them to their work supporting others.
- Seven evidence-based strategies for mitigating toxic stress
- Organizational practices to reduce the impact of toxic stress in staff, youth, and families
- An individualized plan to enhance personal well-being using the seven stress busters
Phoebe Harris Millman
Clinical Director for School-Based Services in Contra Costa County