Strategic Planning Process
Northern Virginia Family Service engaged a wide range of community stakeholders in the Strategic Planning Process.
- A 12 member committee of NVFS staff developed the planning process
- 70% of NVFS staff participated in the planning process through survey, visioning sessions and meetings
- The NVFS Board of Directors, Leadership and Management Teams participated throughout the year
- A number of Community Partners including government, private and foundation supporters completed surveys or participated in visioning sessions
How did they participate?
The survey, which was optional, online and anonymous, focused specifically on current and ongoing client need and new business ideas. Questions included:
- What are some of your client's most challenging issues or pressing needs?
- In the next two to three years, what do you think will be the most pressing needs of our community?
- How can NVFS meet those needs?
- If you could implement a new program or business idea, to address current or unmet need, what would it be?
Visioning session were scheduled throughout the winter, at various office locations, all staff were given the opportunity to discuss two main questions:
- What do we as an organization do well?
- What can we do better?
What did they say?
In responding to the question of current need, staff said we need to better demonstrate our impact in order to secure additional resources, an improved internal referral system and better data management. With regard to services, staff identified the following as the most pressing needs:
- Housing and Immigrant Related Issues
- Access to Health Care/Insurance
- Mental Health Services
With regard to future need, again the focus was primarily on services. However, there was recognition that NVFS will need to do more with less in the coming years. To that end many discussed the need for innovation and diversification in funding, which would allow for greater flexibility and individual program decision. In terms of future community need, staff identified the following top five as the most pressing:
- Job and Skill Development
- Access to Health Care and Health Related Services
- Basic needs, including emergency financial assistance, food and transportation and child care
- Early childhood development programs were also identified.
- Mental Health: Many staff identified the need for clients to have access to free or low cost mental health and support groups. Staff identify that underlying issues present challenges and may keep clients from achieving their goals.
- Immigration Related Issues: Many staff discussed challenges related to the immigrant population including the lack of resources, connection to the community, language and acculturation. These challenges were reflected in every service area as barrier to accessing services from health care to employment, to housing. The need for culturally competent, multilingual staff and mental health services was discussed.
- Transportation: A number of staff reported that clients have difficulty getting to services, child care, jobs, school and training. The issues are not limited those clients living in areas with less access to public transportation. Clients living in areas such as Arlington and Fairfax still struggle with the cost of transportation. Solutions to the transportation needs of clients ranged from a need to increase the availability of vehicle loan programs, available funds for bus tokens and taxi vouchers and more conveniently located offices on bus and rail routes.
If you would like to learn more about how NVFS conducted its Strategic Planning Process please feel free to contact us!
Andrea Zych, Director of Quality Improvement firstname.lastname@example.org
Who to Contact
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