“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
Louis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Like Alice’s question, picking a road to somewhere depends on knowing where you are going. After an intensive series of internal and external consultations, in September EFAA’s Board of Directors approved a new Strategic Plan (FY2015-19). Through this process, EFAA has embraced an enhanced vision for breaking the cycle of poverty for vulnerable households in Boulder County. This builds on the core safety-net function EFAA has played in the community for 97 years. The Strategic Plan remains committed to enhancing EFAA’s basic services to more fully meet the needs of its target population, while providing new levels of case management and supporting services to move families toward self-sufficiency.
The next step was to take the overall goals of the Strategic Plan and draw a detailed road map of how to get there. Over the past few months, an implementation plan has been developed. This plan identifies activities, responsibilities, partnerships and expected output and outcome indicators. This builds a solid logic model and a clear pathway to achieving EFAA’s Strategic Plan vision. EFAA was assisted in this process by Rally Software, one of our corporate partners, through volunteer facilitation from one of Rally’s staff, Karyn Kagiyama, and by adopting their approach to business and workflow planning to help us prioritize our efforts.
EFAA is now ready to begin implementing the new Strategic Plan with a clear road map of how to get where we want to go in improving family outcomes by enhancing the basis safety-net services EFAA has provided so consistently and reliably to individuals and families in need in our community. Here is an overview of EFAA’s Strategic Plan.
FY 15-19 Strategic Plan Overview
EFAA’s new Strategic Plan calls for an expansion of efforts to make systematic change that will further reduce poverty and homelessness in Boulder County. The Strategic Plan (1) remains committed to preserving our basic safety-net services, which help increase the economic mobility of recipients and support broader economic growth, while (2) providing new levels of case management and supporting services that move families further toward self-sufficiency.
The plan calls for a longer-term client view and an emphasis on improved household outcomes across a range of key measures critical for poverty reduction. To be effective, efforts will focus on areas that are strongly linked with clients’ current and future ability to move toward self-sufficiency, and reflect best-practice, evidence-based foundations.
Key elements of the approach
- Expand the value of the safety net function to help clients meet their BASIC NEEDS:
- Continue to provide immediate access to food, housing, direct financial assistance, and case management to avert imminent crisis and ensure a rapid return to stability.
- Enhance the quality, quantity and diversity of food to better meet the nutritional needs of the food insecure in our target populations.
- Increase the impact of non-housing Direct Financial Assistance (DFA), such as medical, dental, and transportation, to help meet basic needs that are not met by other community resources.
- Divert more families from homelessness by providing increased financial assistance and case management for families threatened with eviction.
- Offer a more flexible, tiered-structure of housing options for families with children who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
- Improve successful exits to stable or permanent housing solutions.
- Improve FAMILY OUTCOMES:
- Expand the Children’s Program to help create the conditions for income mobility for the next generation
- In addition to tracking traditional outputs (numbers served, demographics, etc.), also measure what changes are occurring within households as a result of our services.
- Focus on a longer-term, whole family approach that addresses issues that contribute to intergenerational poverty.
- Affect more areas of the self-sufficiency matrix.
- Strengthen and expand COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS:
- Better leverage partnerships to help clients access the entire network of services available to them.
- Prioritize partnerships that allow people to work and effectively manage their money.
- Build partnerships that provide other kinds of training and supports for both adults and children.
- STRATEGICALLY EDUCATE the community about the causes and solutions to poverty:
- Expand our focus to factors in the external environment, such as the labor market, health systems, and minimum wage, that affect client outcomes.
- Raise awareness among donors, policy makers, businesses, and the general public about these critical and emerging issues in order to shape the policy and legislative environment affecting EFAA clients
- Improve and measure effectiveness of our COMMUNICATIONS:
- Create an overarching communications plan annually to ensure communications are consistent, easy to use by all key audiences, and directly support the strategic plan.
- Build a sense of urgency, purpose, and loyalty among all stakeholders to more effectively advance EFAA’s mission.