Building Community, Building Hope


WOMAN, VOICE-OVER: I THINK
IN THE INITIAL, UM, THINKING OF CHILD WELFARE,
WE WERE TRYING TO SAVE CHILDREN, TRYING TO RESCUE THEM FROM
THEIR FAMILIES. TODAY, WE KNOW THAT IF WE WANT
TO SAVE CHILDREN, WE HAVE TO SAVE THEIR FAMILIES. WE KNOW THAT INTERVENING EARLY
MAKES A DIFFERENCE. WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE
CERTAIN KINDS OF SUPPORTS WE CAN GIVE PARENTS EARLY ON
TO STRENGTHEN THEIR ABILITY TO CARE FOR
THEIR CHILDREN. WHAT WE DON’T KNOW IS
HOW TO GET THERE. WOMAN: THERE ARE SOME
CHALLENGES AND– AND PROBABLY SOME FRUSTRATIONS
AROUND, “YES, WE KNOW WHAT GOOD PRACTICE LOOKS
LIKE.” BUT THE SYSTEM’S NOT
MAKING IT THAT EASY WITH THE BUREAUCRACIES,
WITH THE LIMITED RESOURCES. WE WANT TO REALLY SHARE,
ACTUALLY, THAT CREATIVE THINGS ARE HAPPENING. PEOPLE ARE FINDING WAYS TO BUILD EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS THAT ARE
REALLY ENGAGING FAMILIES IN NEW AND DIFFERENT WAYS. THE ROLE OF THE CHILDREN’S
BUREAU IS REALLY TO BOTH INVEST IN THAT KNOWLEDGE GENERATION
BUT ALSO DISSEMINATE IT. WE HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO
LEARN ALONG WITH THESE NEW AND EXCITING
STRATEGIES THAT’LL REALLY IMPACT CHILDREN
AND FAMILIES. BEFORE I STARTED THE PROGRAM, I WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP
FOR 6 MONTHS. HE BECAME VERY VIOLENT
TOWARDS ME, TOWARDS MY KIDS. DHS GOT INVOLVED. WOMAN: NO, HONEY.
I’M JUST TRYING TO SEE
HOW THINGS ARE GOING. NO, HONEY. NOPE. SHE’S JUST DOING
HER CHECK-IN. MY CHILDREN
WERE REMOVED FROM ME FOR SAFETY REASONS. PRETTY MUCH, THEY TOLD ME,
THAT I EITHER LEFT JOE OR, UM, I’D LOSE MY
PARENTAL RIGHTS TO MY KIDS NOT BECAUSE I WAS
A BAD PARENT, BUT HE WAS NOT SAFE
FOR THEM, AND I WASN’T ABLE TO KEEP
THEM SAFE AROUND HIM. SO I ENDED UP, UH,
IN A HOMELESS SHELTER. THAT’S WHEN
MY DHS WORKER HAD TOLD ME ABOUT THE PROGRAM PUSH. BELINDA: CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT
IT IS? SOMETHING SPECIAL… I HAVE NEVER MET A PARENT
THAT DIDN’T LOVE THEIR KID, UM, WHO DIDN’T WANT THE BEST
FOR THEIR KIDS. THEY JUST HAVE A LOT OF COMPLEX
ISSUES THAT THEY DON’T KNOW
HOW TO SORT THROUGH, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO NAVIGATE. AND OUR SYSTEM DOESN’T HELP BECAUSE WE MAKE OUR SYSTEM
VERY COMPLEX. IF YOU LOOK AT THE RESEARCH
ON THE HOMELESS, THE MAJORITY ARE YOUNG PARENTS
WITH YOUNG CHILDREN. OUR FAMILIES HAVE
AN OPEN CHILD WELFARE CASE. THEY ARE HOMELESS OR
UNSTABLY HOUSED. AND THEY HAVE MULTIPLE COMPLEX
NEEDS, SUCH AS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES,
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE. FAMILIES ARE HOUSED WITHIN
14 DAYS. THEY COME INTO A FURNISHED
APARTMENT. WE DON’T WANT FAMILIES TO WORRY
ABOUT FURNISHINGS, FOOD. ANY OF THE BASIC NEEDS WE MAKE
SURE ARE TAKEN CARE OF, SO THEY CAN SOLELY FOCUS ON ALL
THESE MULTIPLE NEEDS THEY HAVE. BELINDA: I THINK HAVING A ROOF
OVER OUR HEADS AND A PLACE TO COME HOME TO
EVERY NIGHT, UM, THAT TOOK A HUGE STRESS OFF. I WAS ABLE TO ACTUALLY FOCUS
ON WHAT DHS HAD EXPECTED OF ME, WHERE BEFORE, I HAD PUT OFF
ALL OF THAT BECAUSE MY MAIN CONCERN WAS,
WHERE AM I GONNA SLEEP TONIGHT? MALONE: OUR STATE, LIKE
MANY STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ARE VERY FRAGMENTED IN TERMS
OF HOW THEY DELIVER SERVICES. SO WE’LL DELIVER, UH,
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES HERE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
SERVICES HERE. WHAT OUR PROJECT IS TRYING
TO DO, WE HAVE–OUR–OUR STAFF ARE
CALLED SERVICE COORDINATORS, AND THEY ARE THE SINGLE POINT
OF CONTACT FOR ALL THE SERVICES THAT
THE FAMILIES NEED. THE DHS WORK WITH US, SO THE FAMILY SEES ONE ALIGNED
PLAN THAT THEY HAVE TO DO. BELINDA: THEY LAY IT OUT
VERY CLEAR, UM, OF WHAT THEY WANT FROM YOU. WITHOUT THE FAMILY TEAM MEETING,
I THINK IT WOULD BE CHAOS. SOMETIMES EITHER THE FAMILY
DOESN’T HAVE THE SKILLS TO LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND
OR THE TEAM MEMBERS DON’T HAVE THE SKILLS TO EXPLAIN
WHAT THE FAMILY NEEDS TO DO. SO AS PUSH, WE REALLY JUST
ASK THOSE HARD QUESTIONS: WHERE ARE WE AT?
AND WHERE DO WE NEED TO GO? WHERE DOES THE FAMILY WANT
TO BE? AND HOW DO WE GET THERE? MALONE: THE FAMILY TEAM MEETING REALLY IS THE KEY TO DEVELOPING
THE PLAN FOR THE FAMILY. BUT ALSO
THE, OVER TIME, CONSTANT REVIEW OF THE SERVICE PLAN TO SEE
WHERE WE ARE AND TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS
AND ENSURE THAT WE HAVE ALL THE RIGHT PEOPLE
AT THE TABLE. BELINDA, VOICE-OVER:
WHEN I FIRST STARTED DOING FAMILY TEAM MEETINGS, EVERYBODY
IN THE ROOM– THEY REALLY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE
THEY’RE ON YOUR SIDE AND THEY WANT THE BEST FOR YOU AND THEY’RE GOING TO HELP YOU
REACH YOUR GOALS NO MATTER WHAT. WHEN MY KIDS WERE REMOVED
FROM TRIAL HOME PLACEMENT, I INVITED KELLY KAUFMAN,
THE COUNTY ATTORNEY, TO MY FAMILY TEAM MEETING
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. THAT’S WHO THE JUDGE IS
GONNA LISTEN TO. KAUFMAN: AND I KNOW THAT YOUR
FOCUS IS ON GETTING THE KIDS HOME, RIGHT? BELINDA: OF COURSE. KAUFMAN: BUT, REMEMBER,
YOUR BIGGER FOCUS IS TO KEEP THEM HOME, RIGHT? I THINK THAT THERAPY IS
VERY IMPORTANT. AND I DON’T SEE THE KIDS COMING
HOME WITHOUT IT. SO I’M GONNA PUSH YOU
ON THAT, OK? KAUFMAN, VOICE-OVER: I GO TO
THESE FAMILY TEAM MEETINGS JUST TO BETTER HELP THE FAMILIES
UNDERSTAND FROM MY PERSPECTIVE WHAT
NEEDS TO BE DONE IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THOSE END GOALS
THAT WE ALL HAVE IN COMMON. KAUFMAN: HAVE YOU SEEN
A THERAPIST? BELINDA: NO.
KAUFMAN: “NO” I LITERALLY JUST STARTED
MY JOB, UH, 3 WEEKS AGO. I DON’T WANT TO START OFF ON,
LIKE, “GUESS WHAT. I HAVE THIS CRAZY BUSY
SCHEDULE…” KAUFMAN: I TOTALLY
AGREE WITH YOU. BELINDA: “AND I’M NOT GONNA BE
RELIABLE AND…” HAVING KELLY KAUFMAN THERE,
BEING ABLE TO, UM, HEAR MY VOICE, TO UNDERSTAND THE RESOURCES
THAT I NEEDED TO BE ABLE TO KEEP MYSELF
AND MY KIDS SAFE– IT MADE A HUGE IMPACT ON MY
NEXT COURT DATE. THE BUS STOP’S RUNNING
AT 6:00. OK. I CAN PROBABLY GET THERE
ON TIME, BUT AM I–HOW AM I
GONNA GET HOME TYPE DEAL? AND– KAUFMAN: CORRECT ME IF I WRONG,
BUT NTS, YOU CAN SCHEDULE.. KAUFMAN, VOICE-OVER:
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR THE FAMILIES TO KNOW THAT I’M A PART OF
THEIR TEAM. NORMALLY I’M VIEWED AS
THE ENEMY. JUST THE SIMPLE ACT
OF EXPLAINING TO THEM THAT MY GOAL IS TO HELP THEM
MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. KAUFMAN: DO YOU SEE ANY
CORRELATION BETWEEN YOUR LIFE BECOMING MORE STABLE AND NOW
YOUR CHILDREN DURING THE VISITS ARE MORE STABLE? BELINDA: NO JOE MEANS NICE KIDS. [LAUGHTER] KAUFMAN, VOICE-OVER: I HAVE
A LOT OF PARENTS THAT ARE REALLY GOOD PARENTS. A LOT OF THEIR ADULT ISSUES
GET IN THE WAY OF THAT. THERE’S A LOT OF GENERATIONAL
ISSUES THAT I SEE. BELINDA, VOICE-OVER:
WORKERS NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHERE THAT PARENT’S AT IN THEIR LIFE AT THAT MOMENT. KNOWING WHAT THEIR PAST HISTORY
IS, UM, THAT–I THINK HOW THEY WERE RAISED IS A HUGE
THING BECAUSE IT HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND MAYBE WHY THEY DO
SOME THINGS THAT THEY DO BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THEY’VE
EVER KNOWN. MALONE: TRADITIONALLY, WE WOULD
SIT DOWN WITH A FAMILY AND TALK ABOUT ALL THE THINGS
WE KNOW THAT THEY’VE DONE WRONG AND WHAT THEY NEEDED
TO DO ABOUT IT. GO HOME AND TRY THAT WITH
YOUR PARTNER OR YOUR CHILD. IT’S NOT VERY EFFECTIVE. SO WHAT WE’VE LEARNED THROUGH
TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE, INSTEAD OF ASKING THE QUESTION,
WHY DID YOU DO THAT?, IT’S ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU THAT YOU’RE
IN THIS SPOT? BELINDA: SO ARE YOU
GONNA SPIN FOR ME? BOY: ALL RIGHT. BELINDA: WHAT NUMBER IS THAT? GIRL: NOW YOU HAVE TO
GET THIS RIGHT HERE… MALONE: WE DO HAVE TO ASK
FAMILIES TO MAKE CHANGES. THERE’S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT. BUT WHEN FAMILIES AREN’T
MAKING CHANGES, WE TAKE THAT RESPONSIBILITY. NOBODY HAS A STRAIGHT LINE FROM
GOING HERE TO THERE. IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE’VE DONE
ANYTHING WRONG. IT JUST MEANS OUR RECIPE FOR
THAT FAMILY ISN’T COOKED YET. AND WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
OVER TIME, THAT THERE’S NO SUCH THING
AS A RESISTANT FAMILY; THERE ARE ONLY RESISTANT
PROFESSIONALS. AND WE CAN NEVER GIVE UP. WE ALWAYS HAVE TO EXPECT
SUCCESS WITH OUR FAMILIES. WE NEVER GIVE UP ON THAT. DARO: WE EXPECT PARENTS
TO BE THE BUFFER BETWEEN ALL THE THINGS THAT
GO ON IN A SOCIETY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF
THEIR CHILD. PARENTS ARE THEIR CHILDREN’S
FIRST AND BEST TEACHER. EVERYTHING IN OUR SOCIETY SAYS
THAT’S HOW WE WANT CHILDREN TO BE RAISED. UNFORTUNATELY, TODAY,
WE PROBABLY GIVE A LOT LESS SUPPORT TO PARENTS
THAT WE MIGHT HAVE DONE IN THE 1950s OR THE 1960s, WHEN THERE WAS A SENSE–
A GREATER SENSE OF COMMUNITY. NOW PARENTS ARE ON THEIR OWN.
THEY’RE OUT THERE. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT. AND NOBODY RAISES THEIR CHILDREN
ON THEIR OWN. EVERYBODY GETS HELP. SOME OF US ARE BLESSED WITH HELP IN OUR OWN FRIENDSHIP NETWORKS,
OUR OWN FAMILIES, BUT FOR A LOT OF PARENTS, THEY
TRULY ARE ON THEIR OWN. AND THE JOB OF PREVENTION IS
TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD, TO MAKE IT OK FOR EVERY PARENT
TO REACH OUT AND ASK FOR HELP AND KNOW WHEN THEY DO IT THAT
THERE’S GONNA BE HELP FOR THEM. [TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING] [BELL CLANGING] MAN: WELL, WE BELIEVE HERE
IN OREGON THAT AT LEAST 50% OF
THE KIDS THAT ARE CURRENTLY IN FOSTER CARE WOULD NEVER HAVE
HAD TO ENTER FOSTER CARE AT ALL IF WE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE
TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT
AND NURTURE THEM IN MEANINGFUL WAYS. OUR THEORY OF CHANGE REALLY
BEGINS WITH THE PREMISE THAT SAFE, STABLE, NURTURING
RELATIONSHIPS– THAT THAT REALLY IS THE KEY
SOCIAL DETERMINANT OF EVERYONE’S LIFE PROSPECTS AND THAT TOXIC STRESS IS
THE THING THAT INTERFERES WITH SAFE, STABLE, NURTURING
RELATIONSHIPS. WHAT WE’VE GOT ARE PARENTS THAT
ARE OVERWHELMED BY THE STRESSES IN LIFE. AND WHEN–WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT
THE BRAIN ARCHITECTURE IS THAT WHEN PEOPLE GET OVERWHELMED
WITH STRESS, WHAT GETS TRIGGERED IS FIGHT, FLIGHT, AND FREEZE. IF WE CAN GET THE SUPPORT THAT
THEY NEED TO BRING THE STRESS LEVELS DOWN IN
THEIR LIVES SO THAT THE EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
KICKS BACK IN, THEN THERE’S THIS ABILITY TO
EXPRESS THE LOVE, THERE’S THE ABILITY TO EXPRESS
THE CARING. THE KEY IS THE FOCUS ON
PROMOTING THE PROTECTIVE FACTORS IN
THE HOME AND IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD RIGHT WHERE PEOPLE LIVE. AND WHEN WE PROMOTE
THE PROTECTIVE FACTORS, THEY NOT ONLY MITIGATE
THE SOURCE OF STRESS, BUT THEY ALSO HELP FAMILIES
AND CHILDREN TO BECOME MORE RESILIENT TO STRESS. IT’S IMPORTANT TO FIND
A NEIGHBOR CONNECTOR WHO ACTUALLY LIVES
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD BECAUSE THERE’S AN AUTOMATIC
TRUST, I THINK, THAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CAN KNOCK ON
A DOOR AND SAY, YOU KNOW, “HELLO. I LIVE
IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD, “AND I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN
MAKING IT A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND A GREAT PLACE TO RAISE
KIDS.” VISITOR: THE TIME
THAT YOU WANTED A GED? YOU CAN JUST LET ME
KNOW BECAUSE I DO KNOW, UM, DIFFERENT PROGRAMS. SEYMOUR: THE NEIGHBOR CONNECTOR
BEGINS BY IDENTIFYING FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS WHO
ARE STRONG IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND BRINGING THEM TOGETHER BUT THEN ALSO REACHES OUT
INTO THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS TO FIND THE PARENTS WHO ARE ISOLATED. VISITOR, VOICE-OVER: I THINK
A HUGE THING IS NEIGHBORS. AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TRYING
TO PROMOTE AT THE COMMUNITY CAFE, IS GETTING TO KNOW
YOUR NEIGHBORS, GETTING TO–TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THEY’RE–THEY MIGHT BE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING– HOW IS IT THAT YOU GUYS CAN–
BE HELPING EACH OTHER? ESMERALDA: THANK YOU SO MUCH… WOMAN HOLDING CHILD:
OK. BYE-BYE, ESMERALDA. ESMERALDA, VOICE-OVER:
WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NEIGHBORHOOD: 97% ARE FROM
HISPANIC/LATINO BACKGROUNDS. AND BEING SECOND LANGUAGE
LEARNERS CREATES A LOT OF DIFFERENT BARRIERS AND CREATES A LOT OF DIFFERENT
STRESSES IN THE FAMILY. [SPEAKING SPANISH] IT’S OUT OF
THE COMMUNITY CAFE MEETING THAT PEOPLE FROM
THE NEIGHBORHOOD MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW THEY
WANT TO BUILD PROTECTIVE FACTORS INTO THAT NEIGHBORHOOD. [CONVERSATIONS IN SPANISH] ALL OF A SUDDEN, FAMILIES ARE
FEELING LIKE, “OH, I’M “NOT JUST COMING
TO THE COMMUNITY CAFE “BECAUSE I NEED SOMETHING. “I’M COMING
TO THE COMMUNITY CAFE “BECAUSE I’M A MEMBER OF
THIS COMMUNITY AND I WANT THIS TO BE
A GREAT COMMUNITY!” MAN, VOICE-OVER: WE’RE CONCERNED
WITH MAKING SURE THAT OUR STUDENTS
ARE KINDER-READY. WE’VE CHANGED THROUGH WORKING
WITH FOSTER HOMES IN CONNECTING WITH OUR
PARENTS. WE ARE ABLE TO START THAT
RELATIONSHIP A YEAR, TWO, 3 YEARS SOONER. SO NOW WE’RE ABLE TO PREPARE
MUCH EARLIER ON IN THE PROCESS. INSTEAD OF WISHING WE WOULD HAVE
HAD THIS CONVERSATION 3 YEARS AGO, WE’RE HAVING
IT TODAY. WHEN WE SUPPORT PARENTS TO
PROTECT AND NURTURE THEIR OWN CHILDREN, IT TAKES
THE STRESS OFF THE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM, IT TAKES THE STRESS OFF
OF THE SCHOOLS, AND IT TAKES THE STRESS OFF
OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. OVER THE LAST 7 YEARS, WE’VE
REDUCED THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN–IN FOSTER CARE
IN MARION COUNTY FROM 1,100 TO–THE LAST COUNT
I SAW IT–WAS 580. SO WE KNOW THIS WORKS. AND THEN WHEN WE–WE FIND
THAT THERE IS A REDUCTION IN THINGS LIKE FOSTER CARE
RATES, TO BE ABLE TO TAKE
THE PART OF THE MONEY THAT ISN’T SPENT ON FOSTER CARE
AND REINVEST IT IN SCALING UP THE POSITIVE,
I BELIEVE THAT THAT KIND OF A SYSTEM
WOULD CREATE A SLOW BUT STEADY BALANCE WITH THE MONEY
BEING SPENT ON PROMOTING
POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT AND STRENGTHENING FAMILIES AND STILL HAVE THE MONEY
THAT WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE
THE TREATMENT SERVICES FOR THOSE WHO NEED
TREATMENT SERVICES. WE NEED ORGANIZATIONS TO
ASK THEMSELVES THE DISRUPTIVE QUESTION,
WILL THE WAY THEY APPROACH THE PROBLEMS OF CHILD ABUSE EVER REACH THE SCALE
OF THE PROBLEM? ONE OUT OF 5 CHILDREN
WILL EXPERIENCE ABUSE BEFORE THEY GROW UP. IN OUR CURRENT STRATEGIES FOR
THE NEXT GENERATION, THERE’S NOT GONNA BE ENOUGH
GOVERNMENT MONEY OR DONATIONS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM
AT THIS SCALE. THERE NEEDS TO BE
ANOTHER WAY. WOMAN, VOICE-OVER: THE MAGNOLIA
COMMUNITY INITIATIVE IS A VOLUNTARY NETWORK OF ABOUT
75 PARTNERS ACROSS DIFFERENT SECTORS THAT
ARE PRIMARILY WORKING WITH THE SAME FAMILIES,
BUT THE FAMILIES ARE HAVING TO NAVIGATE A SYSTEM
OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT AREN’T ACTUALLY TALKING
TO EACH OTHER. WE’RE TRYING TO ESTABLISH
A SHARED VISION FOR A POPULATION OF ABOUT
110,000 PEOPLE, 35,000 OF WHICH ARE CHILDREN IN THE 5 SQUARE MILE AREA, ABOUT 500 BLOCKS, IN L.A. YOU KNOW, IF SOMEBODY DOESN’T
HAVE A JOB, IT CAN TRIGGER DEPRESSION, IT
CAN TRIGGER CHILD MALTREATMENT, IT CAN TRIGGER HOMELESSNESS. WHAT WE HAVE TRIED TO DO WITH THE MAGNOLIA
COMMUNITY INITIATIVE IS SAY, “YOU CAN DO YOUR JOB
BETTER BY UNDERSTANDING “AND KNOWING THE WORKINGS OF
THESE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS “IN HEALTH, IN EDUCATION,
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, “IN COUNTY SERVICES, OUR
LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS, BUSINESSES AND BANKS.” SO THE IDEA IS THAT YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT THESE THINGS CONSISTENTLY, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY
NOT BE RELATED TO FINANCIAL LITERACY. GUIRGUIS, VOICE-OVER: ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT WE WORK TOWARDS WITH ALL OF OUR PARTNERS IS
NOT ONLY PROVIDE THE SERVICE BUT ALSO ASK AN ADDITIONAL
3 QUESTIONS AROUND SOCIAL ISOLATION,
MATERNAL DEPRESSION– OR FAMILY STRESSORS–
AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT CONCERNS. WE FEEL THAT THOSE 3 QUESTIONS
ARE REAL PROXIES FOR DEEPER UNDERLYING ISSUES. WE’RE ALSO SAYING,
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE EXPERT IN THAT FIELD. “IF YOU HAVE A PARENT THAT HAS
CHILD DEVELOPMENT CONCERNS, “SEND THEM OUR WAY. “WE’LL DO ADDITIONAL
SCREENING. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK
THE QUESTION. AND WE, AS A PARTNERSHIP,
HAVE STOOD UP AND SAID,
“WE’LL SUPPORT THAT FAMILY WITH THE ADDITIONAL SERVICES.” WOMAN IN JACKET:
LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT PIECE IS
ONE AREA WHERE WE’RE REALLY LOW. AND SO WE KIND OF
STARTED BRAINSTORMING ABOUT HOW WE CAN START, UH, TWEAKING THE CONVERSATIONS
THAT WE HAVE WITH THOSE PARENTS IN ORDER
FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT TO COME UP. I THINK OUR SUCCESS
REALLY LIES IN THE FACT THAT ALL OF OUR INDIVIDUAL
PARTNERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE WORKING DIRECTLY
WITH FAMILIES, IS THAT THEY HAVE
THE PERMISSION TO GO BEYOND JUST THE SERVICE
THAT THEY PROVIDE AND TAP INTO ALL
OF THE EXPERTISE AND ALL OF THE OTHER SERVICES
WITHIN THE NETWORK, AND REALLY MEET
THAT CLIENT’S NEED. ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT MANY OF
THE PARTNERS HAVE IS THAT WE PROVIDE FAMILIES
WITH INFORMATION ON WHERE TO GO NEXT. SOMEONE COMES IN TO ME,
AND I FIND OUT THAT MAYBE MOM COULD
USE SOME SUPPORT OR COUNSELING. UM, AND I MAKE THAT REFERRAL. I NEVER KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WITH
THAT REFERRAL. THE WARM HANDOFF WAS THIS
CONCEPT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE HERE WITHIN THE BUILDING. AND RATHER THAN SAYING,
“OH, CALL ST. JOHN’S FOR COUNSELING SUPPORT,” I CAN WALK OVER TO THE PERSON
IN ST. JOHN’S AND SAY, “HERE. THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT
THIS FAMILY,” “AND THIS IS WHAT I THINK YOU
MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP THEM WITH TODAY.” [CONVERSATION IN SPANISH] JOACHIM: THE CONCEPT OF
A WARM HANDOFF WAS SIMPLE. IT MADE SENSE TO PEOPLE. AND, AGAIN, I THINK THEY WERE
ABLE TO SEE THE EFFECT ON FAMILIES AND THE EFFECT ON
THEIR REFERRALS AND THE SUCCESS OF THEIR
REFERRALS ALSO IMMEDIATELY. MORALES: ALL OF THIS EFFORT
TAKES A NEW KIND OF CULTURE. WE DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER. SO THEREFORE, WE NEED TO GO
INTO THIS WITH A MINDSET OF, HOW CAN WE LEARN
AND FIGURE OUT WHAT THE ANSWER IS
AND WHAT WORKS? AND WE CANNOT DO THIS SAME
THING FOR 3 YEARS, THEN WE’LL TEST IT TO SEE
IF IT WORKS. WE CAN’T TAKE THAT LONG. SO WE NEED SOMETHING: “WHAT CAN
YOU TRY BY NEXT TUESDAY?” WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO DO–
GET AS MANY MICROEXPERIMENTS GOING ON AT ONE TIME
AS POSSIBLE SO YOU CAN LEARN MORE
QUICKLY. JOACHIM: WE’RE SHIFTING DATA
FROM SOMETHING THAT EVALUATES PERFORMANCE TO SOMETHING THAT
INFORMS LEARNING. AND THAT FEELS VERY DIFFERENT
TO PEOPLE BECAUSE IT REALLY IS ABOUT
LEARNING TOGETHER AND LEARNING TOGETHER FOR
THE SAKE OF IMPROVING COMMUNITY OUTCOMES. GUIRGUIS: WE ACTUALLY SEE THE MAGNOLIA COMMUNITY
INITIATIVE AS A LEARNING COMMUNITY, A COMMUNITY THAT IS REFLECTIVE
IN ITS PROCESS, REFLECTIVE IN ITS TESTING,
AND REFLECTIVE IN ITS PRACTICE. NO PROGRAM IS GOING TO FIX
FAMILIES FOREVER. YOU’RE JUST ONE PART OF WHAT
A FAMILY NEEDS. SO IF WE CAN’T
BE COMFORTABLE OPERATING IN A COLLECTIVE ENVIRONMENT WHERE EVERYBODY DOES
THEIR SHARE, I DON’T KNOW HOW WE BUILD
THE KIND OF SOCIETY WE NEED TO REALLY GIVE CHILDREN
WHAT THEY NEED. MORALES: TO HELP PARENTS BE
NURTURING AND CARING, YOU HAVE TO HELP THEM BE HEALTHY. YOU HAVE TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN
BE EDUCATIONALLY SUCCESSFUL. YOU HAVE TO TAKE
THAT CUTTING SHARP EDGE OFF OF POVERTY
SO THE FAMILY’S NOT CONSTANTLY UNDER THE PRESSURE OF SURVIVAL. AND IT’S A RECOGNITION OF
THE INTERDEPENDENTNESS OF THOSE CRITICAL AREAS
IN OUR FUNDING STREAMS THAT WOULD ALLOW ORGANIZATIONS
TO MORE–WE SAY– HOLISTICALLY HELP A FAMILY
BE SUCCESSFUL. SEYMOUR: POLICYMAKERS
AND PHILANTHROPISTS– THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW
POLICY AND MONEY DRIVES ALL OF THIS. WE REALLY DO
GET WHAT WE PAY FOR. AND SO IF WE PAY FOR
FOSTER CARE, WE WILL GET FOSTER CARE. AND IF WE CAN LEARN TO PAY
FOR PERMANENCE, WE WILL GET PERMANENCE. TRADITIONALLY, IT’S VERY
DIFFICULT FOR THESE HIGH-LEVEL DEPARTMENTS TO WORK
TOGETHER, BUT I THINK OVER TIME, AS WE’RE
LEARNING IN SMALLER COMMUNITIES ABOUT WHAT WORKS,
THEN WE WILL HAVE TO TURN TO THESE LARGER SYSTEMS
TO SAY, “IN ORDER FOR US TO SUSTAIN
SOME LEVEL “OF WHAT’S WORKING WITH THESE
FAMILIES, WE’RE GOING TO NEED THESE LARGER
SYSTEMS TO WORK TOGETHER.” FUNDAMENTALLY ADDRESSING
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE. WHAT WE’D REALLY LOVE IS
TO THINK ABOUT THE PEDIATRICIAN, THE OBSTETRICIANS,
OR THE DAYCARE PROVIDERS, THE TEACHERS IN THE SCHOOLS
REALLY SEEING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
PREVENTION AS SOMETHING THAT THEY’RE
ALSO OWNING. OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WILL COME
TOGETHER TO SHARE IN THE OWNERSHIP OF THIS
AND IN THE INVESTMENT, BUT THAT IS THE NEW TYPE OF
LEADERSHIP THAT WE NEED THAT WILL ALLOW US TO GET
TO THE SCALE OF THE SOCIAL CONDITIONS THAT
WE HAVE. MALONE: WHEN WE CHANGE HOW WE
DO THINGS, WHEN WE ARE OPEN TO LEARNING
FROM FAMILIES AND WE BRING FORTH THE REASON
THAT WE’RE ALL IN THIS FIELD, WHICH IS ALL ABOUT COMPASSION
AND HELP, THAT FAMILIES REALLY DO BEGIN
TO MAKE CHANGES.

2 thoughts on “Building Community, Building Hope

  1. I enjoyed this video and found it to be informative about child abuse and how as a community may come together to help this epidemic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *