Building a Foundation, Forming Connections There*s No Place Like

Report
BUILDING A FOUNDATION, FORMING
CONNECTIONS, THERE’S NO PLACE
LIKE HOME: COLLABORATION +
ENGAGEMENT +CONNECTION
+SUPPORT + PERSPECTIVES =
COMMUNITY
Amanda Blalock, SCPS School Board Member
Lisa Dolan, LCSW, SCPS Lead School Social Worker
Dawn Shelley, SCPS School Board Member
Michelle Swisher, MSW, SCPS Homeless Liaison/School Social Worker
Spotsylvania County Public Schools, Spotsylvania Virginia
Where in the World is
Spotsylvania, Virginia?
Spotsylvania County
 127,348 people is our population within 401
square miles
 23,838 students enrolled Jan. 2014 at 29 schools
 32% of students receive Free and Reduced Lunch
 2013-2014 we had 630 McKinney Vento students
identified.
 2014-2015 we currently have 290 students
identified.
 We have had a 78% increase over 5 years
We started TALKING!!! To everyone
What Happened?
We started talking—to everyone
 Newspaper articles
 “Birth” of Treasure
House
 Meeting everyone we
could
 Church Groups
 Civic Groups
 Student Groups and
Clubs
 Special Education Class
at High School
 Community Leaders
Prioritize Creating a Network
of Community Partnerships
 Establishing relationships is critical for the
ongoing social welfare of the families with
whom we work
Assessment Questions Regarding
Community Connections
 Do we have established connections and referral
protocols with community programs and other
providers that support children and youth and
promote resilience and healing?
 Are we effectively collaborating with community
organizations to better meet the needs of the
diversity of families with whom we work?
 Do we have established relationships with
community partners which allows
communication about supporting the safety of
children and families in homeless situations?
 Do we intentionally build and sustain
relationships and partnerships with staff at other
agencies and systems that affect housing and
services?
 Do we work with community partners to
establish a shared vision for practice based on
housing needs of all family members?
 Do we understand various perspectives and
work processes and acknowledge the
knowledge and skills of staff at other agencies?
 Have we developed protocols and policies with
key community partners to guide practice?
Challenge:
System Thinking
Basics:
•Holistic
•Big Picture
•Interconnections
•Synthesize
•Unified view
Are We Working Inside a
Silo?
Successful Community
Development
TREASURE HOUSE
Dressing Days
Student Involvement
Partnerships
University of Mary Washington
& Local Churches
Food Bank
Community Garden at Hotels
Community Garden at Treasure
House
Newspaper and Radio
Relationships
Business Relationships
Asset Based Community Development
 Rediscover and mobilize




resources already
present in the
community
Power of voluntary
associations, achieved
through relationship
building
Asset Based
Internally focused
Relationship driven
Those Who are Marginalized Need
to be Reconnected…
 Identify the gifts and
dreams
 Each person has a
unique gift
 Idea of citizen space
 Connectors are Key
Players
Connectors
 Key Player
 Knows A LOT of people
 Willing and able to
make connections
between people who
might otherwise
remain isolated from
each other
Important role of the
Connector
 Strength based (system and individual)
 Focus on the gifts
 Participate where it makes sense
 Be present in the community
 Understand the nature of citizen space
The Lessons Learned from the Lamplighter
Working WITH School Boards
 Actively participate by meeting with




members
Ground the conversation as a real life
community issue
Show there is support from a range of
community members
Speak at meetings, educate, make it personal
Foster the dialogue, listen carefully to
concerns, questions, doubts and fears and
respond
2014 Magna Award
 The National School Boards Association
awarded Spotsylvania County Schools for
Camp Out Rock Out Knock Out Homelessness
Event
 Recognition from School Board Members is
key
Panel Discussion with School
Board Members
The Art of Playing Politics

similar documents