As we approach the end of Year One for The Promise’s Family Stability Challenge, we are continuing to evaluate how we might deepen the impact of our work for Year Two. From building new partnerships and referral pathways to expanding outreach efforts, we are very proud of the commitment and collaborative efforts shown by our Family Stability coalitions.
For the past year, the coalitions have been able to share key learnings, scale-up services and meet the moment to connect individuals and families to important benefits like the Child Tax Credit, Rental and Mortgage Assistance, and Stimulus payments (to name a few) – all while doing so under the conditions of an ongoing pandemic.
As Year two approaches, our team is looking at ways we can further strengthen these partnerships and implement key learning from our Year One findings. In collaboration with The Knowledge Center, led by Dr. Andrea Anderson, The Promise has released a Spring 2022 Insights Report to deepen a broader understanding of what it takes to improve economic security in our region.
Seven core themes emerged:
Collaboration: While not new to community-based organizations, collaboration still requires time to build relationships and establish trust. This work is a precursor to collaborating effectively.
Capacity Building: Supporting a new, community-based initiative with a focus on learning required new muscles and embracing emergent strategies based on the needs of the community-based organizations.
Data Collection and Sharing: Sharing data across organizations that are mandated to protect personally identifiable information (PII) is a formidable challenge, and one that impacts the efficacy of inter-agency referrals as well as coalition-level progress monitoring.
Marketing and Outreach: Marketing and outreach to community members may be the single most important factor driving awareness and uptake of social safety net benefits. Financial support and technical assistance from The Promise have assisted in deepening this capacity.
Personalized Support: A significant level of engagement may be required to get some clients from intake through the entire process required to secure benefits, particularly if multiple benefits are involved.
Context Matters: Trends in service delivery data during the first year of the Family Stability Challenge cannot be properly understood without considering the variety of factors impacting service delivery and uptake
The Value of Life-Changing Benefits: FSC coalitions have secured important benefits for community members, and in many cases the value of those benefits received by an individual or family has been life-changing.
As we look ahead, we will continue to support our grantees in streamlining, strengthening, and formalizing our coalition to help them operate as partners more effectively. The coalitions have made great progress, but there is further to go. We will continue to listen and learn, and share those lessons with the broader community to expand economic security in Philadelphia.