Evolutionary and revolutionary work is how we approach change. Evolutionary work that Alia does includes keynotes, workshops, trainings, and long-term (18-24 months) workforce wellbeing groups and leadership coaching among public child welfare leadership teams to help them do their work better. This is fee-for-service work which is a significant source of income for us and prepares systems to make more radical changes toward prevention work. Alia’s revolutionary work is convening leaders to develop a new way – not continuous improvement, but redesign. We also commission work to be published in to the field that support doing work a healing, connecting way.
We have a broad and deep network of folks aligned with our mission and we want to nurture this network to accelerate sharing and practice toward the development of an UnSystem. We think that folks in our network can encourage and learn from each other. Practice insights, personal stories, notes of encouragement, potential trainers, etc – how can we be a hub for this sharing, but also provide ways for them to connect with each other directly?
For example, we are doing work in New York City working with a nonprofit to transition their foster group homes into “healing homes” for healing the trauma youth have experienced and finding them permanent families. Also, we convene a 5-jurisdiction group of leaders from 4 states, child welfare professional veterans, and system-involved parents and youth called the UnSystem Innovation Cohort, and our work with them is to put UnSystem practice ideas into place, real time, with real families. The Cohort doesn’t know about the NY group home work we’re doing, and NY doesn’t know what we’re up to in the Cohort. Also, we periodically have people like Lacey, a foster/adoptive mother who maintains close, loving contact with her child’s birth mother, understanding the critical need they both have to remain connected. How can I share her story to our network?
Alia staff are fatigued from frequent travel and would like to focus on solutions that are local and/or digital. How can we capture and share – or provide our network a platform for capturing and sharing their own successes and insights – in a way that helps us all advance in our thinking and practice toward a preventive, healing approach to the work of child welfare?