All in Community

What is the Value of Having a Blog?

Thought provoking content designed to address the specific needs and curiosities of your community is the trail of breadcrumbs driving traffic to all of your assets, including your website. A blog allows an organization to demonstrate that it is a thought leader and offers an opportunity to be transparent about the organization’s opinions and processes, which helps to build credibility. It’s a cost-efficient way to share your mission beyond your current stakeholders, creating potential for new partnerships.

Encouraging Volunteerism from Staff: A COA Case Study

Previously we have acknowledged Volunteer Month by writing about starting a workplace volunteer initiative and had a guest post from one of our many wonderful volunteers. This year, we decided we wanted to get a bit more personal. How does COA staff connect with our own volunteer initiatives? What impact does it have on the communities we serve as well as our own? What can others learn from our story?

Profiles in Accreditation: Lad Lake

For our first Profiles in Accreditation post, we asked Lad Lake President and CEO Daniel O. Magnuson, MA, MSW to share his thoughts on his organization’s journey through reaccreditation. He emphasized how accreditation provided a framework for operational success, as well as the importance of having the entire organization--including the board--engaged with the process.

Family Builders: Best Practice for Serving LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care

COA chatted with Jill Jacobs, Executive Director of the COA accredited organization Family Builders, about the success of their Youth Acceptance Project. The program is designed to keep LGBTQ youth safe in their family homes (family reunification/family preservation) and to advocate for safe and equitable permanency of LGBTQ youth when family reunification is not possible.

Support Evidence Based and Trauma-Informed Care for Undocumented Migrant Children

The Council on Accreditation is putting forth a call to action to support evidence-based and trauma-informed care for undocumented migrant children. The Departments of Health and Human Services have put forth a proposal to withdraw the Flores Settlement Agreement with a public comment period that ends November 6th. COA explains the importance of engaging in this comment period and apply lessons learned in the field to this vulnerable population.

Chicago House: Applying the Philosophy of Harm Reduction

Chicago House and Social Service Agency serves individuals and families who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ marginalization, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity. In this post, they discuss harm reduction, a client-centered, trauma-informed approach that emphasizes safety and client self-determination. Chicago House shares how they apply this philosophy to all aspects of their organization. 

Understanding the Impact of Social Determinants of Health

Often times your health is influenced by factors beyond the individual’s control, factors related to their social context. Health professionals refer to these as social determinants of health (SDOH) and they have become the focus of increasing interest when it comes to closing the health disparity gap and taking more proactive approaches to population health and well-being.

Child Welfare’s Complicated Relationship with the Opioid Epidemic

Child welfare agencies across the country are seeing the impact of the current opioid epidemic. Reports from public officials, advocates, and those working in the field echo the same sentiment – the crisis is overwhelming. As opioid abuse continues to increase nationwide, the demand for foster care placements is also on the rise. This leads us to wonder what is the relationship, and what does it mean for families and future generations of children? 

In recognition of National Foster Care Month, this article will shed light on the connection between the opioid epidemic and child welfare and contribute to the ongoing dialogue on how policy and practice can better support those working with families entrenched in this devastating crisis.

How to Engage Staff in the Accreditation Process

The accreditation process is most valuable when staff throughout the agency are engaged, but this isn't always easy. Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults shares the fun, interactive methods they used to promote the culture of COA and gain staff buy-in. “We wanted to do something different and FUN that would appeal to our two majority generations in the agency identified from our annual staff survey: millennials and baby boomers.”

Workplace Volunteer Initiatives – Why They Matter in the Social Service Field

You may have heard of the terms corporate social responsibility or corporate philanthropy and thought they weren’t relevant to your organization. The first instinct might be “Our whole function is to create social impact driven by our mission. We don’t need to/have time for/have the energy for additional volunteer work”. You might be surprised to discover that there are still opportunities and interest at your organization to incorporate the essence of these ideas. After reading on, I hope you’ll find that there are various ways in which doing so can positively reverberate through your work environment, from boosting morale to encouraging closer work with the community you serve.

How to Combat the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences

April is child abuse prevention month, and there is no better time to raise awareness around the long-lasting effects of child abuse, neglect, and other types of childhood trauma. This article will explain Adverse Childhood Experiences, share relevant findings from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), and explore how to put science into practice in order to mitigate and prevent the consequences of childhood adversity.