Monthly Archives: May 2016

Transparency = Trust: The metrics tell the story.

Late last week, we released our operating and financial results for our first half of fiscal year 2016—ending March 31. We publicly present our operating and financial results twice a year—a process I look forward to as it offers us—and every stakeholder, partner, grantor, vendor, consumer, and contractor—a clear picture of our performance. Over 130 people listened to our release last week.types-of-real-estate-loans

I believe that the process of providing operating and fiscal results yields much more than just a dashboard of our work for our constituents to see. The process also yields trust, which is paramount to our ability to create and innovate relevant, sustainable solutions for people with barriers. By openly sharing our financial and operating performance, we create a platform of trust that enables us to expand our collective efforts.

Here are some highlights of the first half of 2016 (October 2015-March 2016):

We served 43,272 individuals through our four practice areas: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Education Services, and Occupational Health—nearly double as the same time last year. Our revenue grew by 44%, driven both by organic and acquisition initiatives. We maintained our program expenses at 88% of our operating expenses, and we expanded our footprint throughout New Hampshire and Maine, Maryland, and Delaware through new contract awards and mergers and acquisitions.

Economic Development accounted for 45.4% of our total first year’s revenues. This practice area includes business service operations that directly employ the populations we serve, the majority of whom have disabilities or other barriers. In the first half of the year, we employed 1500 people in our Total Facilities Management, Manufacturing, Business Solutions, Catering, Security, Home Health Care and Staffing Solutions.

Workforce Development accounted for 34.6% of our revenues and is the practice area where we serve the largest number of individuals. In this area, we placed over 3,700 people in jobs, including 155 ReServists—retired professionals aged 55+ whom we place within organizations to create social impact in the areas of education, health care, and poverty fighting.

Education Services and Occupational Health accounts for 16.5% of our revenue. In these areas, we achieved close to three times the prior year’s revenues due to our combination with Easter Seals New York and our expanded work in the area of substance use disorders and recovery. Our Education and Occupational Health practice areas includes work in behavioral health, assistance for youth transitioning from foster care and vocational rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities. I’m proud to say that over 400 people advanced grade level, graduated from high school, matriculated into college, graduated from college or received a vocational rehabilitation certification through our Career Design School.

I invite you to take a look at our full release on our home page at www.fedcap.org. The metrics matter—they tell the story of our day-to-day work making a difference in thousands of lives and to the power of possible—the mantra we strive to live by every day. I also invite you to evaluate and analyze what you see in our presentation, and I welcome your suggestions, ideas, feedback, and recommendations for any other information you would like to see in the future.

We aim to be on the edge of best practices, to contribute to the highest standard of transparency, and to continually reflect our principles and practices. We count on you as partners to help us achieve the power of possible.

 

 

National Foster Care Awareness—a celebration and a challenge

May is national Foster Care Awareness month—created to acknowledge the lives of young people, their foster families, and the many caring individuals who have helped rewrite stories that began as chapters of adversity into stories of success. There are hundreds of accounts of young people who, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, have gone on to forever change the course of their lives and of generations to come because of the hearts and homes of foster families. It is a time to celebrate these successes.

National Foster Care Awareness month is also a time to challenge ourselves by considering work that still needs to be done on behalf of youth in care. We have still a long way to go to ensure that all youth have an equal chance at success.

Here are the statistics:

On any given day, there are over 500,000 children in foster care. That’s more than the populations of cities like Miami or Honolulu or Minneapolis.

Approximately 800,000 children will have some contact with the foster system every year. That’s more than the populations of Boston, San Francisco, or Austin.

Approximately 28,000 youth will age out of foster care each year. One in seven of them will be homeless.

50% of them will be unemployed.

20% of foster youth turn to criminal behavior, compared to 5% of the general population.

And taxpayers pay $22 billion dollars a year on foster care. This does not include monies spent on prevention or treatment for substance abuse.

We know that the best way to prevent youth from entering the child welfare system—and crossing over to the juvenile justice system—is early identification of families at risk. This identification starts with coordination of care across society—in our schools, houses of worship, neighborhood centers, and any agency or organization that touches our families. For those for whom prevention is not possible, there are interventions that can occur that will alter the discouraging course of the statistics above. It is work by people like Shay Bilchik, founder and Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, whom we honored this past week at our Wildcat Spring Cocktail party, who continue to challenge policy makers and offer practical, multi-system approaches to supporting youth in care.

At Fedcap, we, too, are committed to ongoing efforts to support youth in care. While Mr. Bilchik is working on system-wide interventions such as the Crossover Youth Practice Model I’ve described in past weeks, we are also working on innovative, precise interventions that are practical and sustainable and that will bolster the connection between foster parents and their foster children. For example, our PrepNow! program, now being implemented coast to coast, offers a full, blended “curriculum,” aimed at creating a college-going environment in the home of foster parents who may not have previously prepared a child for the process of applying to college or advancing to the next step in their careers. It is these precise interventions that can make the difference. We will continue to work toward creating interventions—and preventions—to reduce the statistics of youth who cross over between the child welfare and the juvenile justice systems. I welcome your ideas and thoughts on ways we can continue to innovate and to improve the stories of youth in care. Feel free to comment with your ideas—I welcome your thoughts, as always.

Can “Crossing Over” Be Prevented?

In my last post, I highlighted the work of Shay Bilchik, a tireless pioneer who has devoted his life’s work to forging pathways to improve outcomes for at-risk youth and their families. A focus area of Mr. Bilchik’s work is the population of children known as “crossover youth,” young people who are involved in both the child welfare and the juvenile justice systems and who require a more precise and complex intervention to redirect their future than those who are involved singly in one system or the other. Mr. Bilchik and other forerunners in the field have collaborated on a model called the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM), a template for standards of practice that can be integrated for—and by—the courts, social workers, and probation officers working together in partnership with families on a daily, practical basis to improve outcomes for these youth.

The question is: can “crossing over” be prevented before intervention is required?

Each child identified as crossover youth has his or her own story—most often a very difficult one that is marked by trauma. In general, and in common, they have likely been exposed to persistent maltreatment in the form of abuse and neglect, and they have engaged in–or are at risk of engaging–in delinquent behavior, sometimes, though not always, leading them to the juvenile court system.

Much research has been done on the impact of abuse and neglect and how trauma affects future behavior. Not every child who is subjected to maltreatment goes on to commit delinquency. Detailed studies show that the top risk factors for predicting criminal behavior in youth are: 1) They have likely been exposed to and been the victims of physical violence; 2) The abuse is likely to have been compounded and severe; and 3) they have been the victims of neglect over a long period of time. In addition, when youth are placed out of home, the types of placement can make a difference in future behavior. For example, those who live in group homes (as opposed to a family like setting) appear to be more likely to engage in criminal behavior and to become involved with the juvenile justice system.

By recognizing these risk factors early on, it is possible that those involved in the child welfare system will be able to identify many of the youth who are at risk of crossing over before they get to the juvenile justice system. But that work means introducing a systemic change that transcends current politics, policies, and practices and calls on tangible and intangible forces to work together.

I believe crossing over can be prevented. I believe that the Crossover Youth Practice Model and the work of Shay Bilchik and many others in the juvenile justice and child welfare arenas lays out principles, evidence-based procedures, and ways to assure quality of care that will lead to prevention of crossing over.

By intervening early on, by holding fast to the principles of striving for normalcy for children and families on a daily basis, and by continuing to implement precise interventions along the way, we can make huge strides in preventing youth from crossing over and thereby creating a better future for them and for their families. I believe it is possible.

What do you think?