Collaboration – Doing Life Together

by Mark Kling, Executive Director, FRCA

JULY 3, 2018 – As we celebrate Independence Day, it reminds me that none of us do life alone. We live in communities and we work in community. Every day, each one of us collaborates with others in some way. The definition of Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

FRCA staff supporting Pinwheels for Prevention, a program from Illuminate Colorado

Collaboration is at the heart of everything FRCA does. From the work with families; as family development workers partner with individuals to set and meet goals; to technical assistance and training with our centers to raise the quality of work accomplished in communities; to helping to facilitate conversations with diverse stakeholders around the state in addressing solutions for our communities; we are constantly working on collaboration. We also work with policymakers to help inform policies and raise awareness for funding these important initiatives in our state. And we are continually working with our partners in the philanthropic community and donors to make sure this important work is sustainable. FRCA is focused on collaborating to make a difference in all that we do.   And collaboration over time leads to Collective Impact.

Collective Impact is another buzzword in our work that references a simple concept that is very difficult to execute. Collective Impact is a framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change. (www.collaborationforimpact.com/collective-impact)

Right now we have begun a partnership with Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) to test, refine and test again our tools, practices, and resources to improve family support. Currently, we are in the second phase of work. The aim of this second pilot is twofold: first, to learn more about the way in which families at three different family resource centers do or do not enter in the Family Development Pathway, and; secondly, to garner some evidence about the efficacy of Motivational Interviewing training for those staff engaging with families. Specifically, the FDP refers to a cluster of services including use of a common screening tool, motivational interviewing-based coordinated case management, and administration of the Colorado Family Support Assessment 2.0. FRCA believes that through use of these strategies, caregivers involved in the Family Development Pathway will experience increased readiness to change, and increased self-confidence, altogether leading to positive movement within goal setting domains and improved self-reliance.

At the end of the day, when families find their strength, confidence and work towards positive movement, lives are changed for generations to come.

And there you have it. Our vision, our ultimate goal, is to be a catalyst for lasting change in the lives of families. We believe that if we can create solutions that lay the foundation for healthy and self-reliant children and families, we can affect a long-term difference in our communities and our state. And as always, we will tackle each challenge that comes our way, collaborating with our members, stakeholders, funders, and communities.

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