INSERT COPY ABOUT PROPOSALS / SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL / ETC.
Family Support & Engagement
Establishing and growing relationships with families is a sure way to identify and meet their needs. Often, engagement can include holistic approaches that may include providing child care, engaging with all family members or family members that may be historically overlooked, wrap-around services, concrete supports, facilitating engagement, co-parenting, and consultation.
Sessions in this topic area may focus on engagement strategies or successful practices that have increased involvement with families in both voluntary and non-voluntary programming to meet the individual needs and goals of families.
Elevating Lived Experience
It is imperative for organizations/agencies to include the voices of those with lived experience in an equitable, meaningful, and successful way. Lived experience can encompass many different voices. Those with lived experience may be single parents, foster and adoptive families, kinship providers, parents in recovery, and more. Engagement across all kinds of families is a crucial component in successful programming.
Sessions in this topic area may focus on how incorporating those with lived experience builds and strengthens programming, practices, or policies, especially those related to building empathy, working through conflict, social-emotional competence and behavioral health, school liaisons, and accessing and navigating public systems and services (e.g. Child Welfare, TANF, etc.). Other areas to explore could include involving families in an equitable manner (i.e. compensation), mentorship and coaching, recruitment and retention, welcoming and including diverse family and youth voices, and utilizing family and youth voices to direct the work we do.
Working Together to Maximize Resources
Collaboration, cooperation, alignment, resource sharing, oh my! How does collaborating with partners maximize resources in your work? How has working together strengthened the families and communities you serve? Examples could include shifts in practice, new collaborative partnerships, concrete resource sharing, or referral practices.
Sessions in this topic area could also include opportunities on how to think differently about funding sources, blending and braiding funding sources, and funder-led discussions.
Getting to Equitable Practice
Embedding equitable practices when creating spaces, policies and programming is key to moving the work of strengthening families and communities forward. How are we, and the field, actively prioritizing anti-racism and anti-discrimination in our relationships, communities, workplaces and systems? How do we sustain and institutionalize that change, even when it’s hard or uncomfortable? How are we actively seeking change?
Sessions in this topic area may include explorations of work that has been, and is continuing to be, implemented in organizations and communities to reach equitable practices (concerning race, systemic racism, sexual orientation, identity, and special considerations like neurodivergence, etc.), with a focus on how this work can be expanded and prioritized.
Our world is constantly adapting to new challenges and opportunities, resulting in new practices and programming in our work on an ongoing basis. Do you know of an example where agencies, organizations and/or communities innovated in their work with children and families due to shifting landscapes in funding, staff capacity or change in communities? What shifts in practice took place? What have you done that has advanced the strengthening of families and promotion of the protective factors? What creative solutions have been developed or implemented to respond to the needs of families? What lessons have you learned, or what are you planning to continue, and why?
Sessions in this topic area could include presentations that don’t easily fit into one of the other topic areas but still strengthen families and build protective factors, such as new and innovative programming or partnerships, data or evaluation synthesis, or campaign(s) raising awareness and/or influencing work with families.
Supporting Workforce Care
From more operational components of workforce management, like increasing employee retention rates or offering professional development opportunities, to more individual components, like practicing self-care, workforce care is an important aspect of achieving the missions of our organizations. Recognizing that self-care can look very different from one individual to the next, these sessions will address how caring for the workforce is important all of the time, especially when capacity is being stretched to the limit and burnout may feel right around the corner.
Sessions in this topic area can contain workforce management content related to recruitment, retention, change management, transitions, and supporting workforce care/self-care. These sessions can also provide an opportunity to practice self-care; discuss self-care techniques or activities for individuals, families, and workplace environments; and address other opportunities for taking care of ourselves.
Whether big “P” around state and national level policy change, or little “p” for organizational policy change, there is a lot going on in this area, including how policies impact funding, the workforce, programming and priorities related to strengthening families.
Sessions in this topic area will focus on levels of change and adaptations that have already taken place, or ones that are in the works. Presentations can be informative or awareness-building, as well as opportunities for attendees to give input and feedback on policy changes impacting families in Colorado.
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