Organizations that need to do a lot with a little have to be creative in order to be successful. Organizations (and people) that do not engage actively with the future go stale. Organizations that fail to use their collective imagination remain imprisoned by existing structures that are causing or perpetuating obstacles to success. Together, these concepts are at the heart of innovation and innovative family services. At RCPCC we take these concepts to heart and strive to model them as individual staffers and as an organization, and to embed them in our programming.
Our innovative approaches include:
2Gen Whole Family Programming
RCPCC is a lead organization in the state of Vermont pioneering a 2Gen Whole Family approach. We are building a robust suite of programs to comprehensively address the 5 Key Components recognized as the basics of 2Gen approaches: 1) Postsecondary Education and Employment Pathways; 2) Early Childhood Education and Development; 3) Economic Assets; 4) Health and Well-Being; and 5) Social Capital.
Our strategy is to constantly explore ways to cross-fertilize and combine programming in novel ways that optimize return on investment to families and to the wider community. An example of where we are headed with 2Gen Whole Family programming is:
Gaining Ground ~ an initiative that will bridge several program areas and deliver literacy, executive function skill training and job skills training – packaged in individual, family, small group and large group work as well as in combination with community meals.
Shared leadership involves increased autonomy to individual staff members to explore, initiate and implement project development. Staff can also initiate interagency outreach and collaboration. For instance, if a staff member identifies energy for a cooking class for parents, the staff member is free to make it happen (within budgetary constraints, of course). This approach helps us get more done more quickly – and staff feel more invested in the organization. This also requires a “mistake-tolerant” atmosphere.
In our own microcosm, we try to model how we envision a healthy, organically growing community functioning. It requires openness, trust and commitment – while also expanding these qualities. It is “de-siloing” in its truest sense.