Dear Friends and Allies,
As fall marches on and the days get shorter, it’s easy to feel as though we should be consolidating, regrouping, storing our acorns to get through the winter. But spring is too far away, and too short a season, to wait for new growth. At FFI, we are launching new projects now
, expanding and moving in exciting new and important directions.
Below, you’ll find some examples of what the last few months have brought to FFI—new partnerships, new projects, new people—all increasingly aligned around a shared commitment to increasing access to wellbeing for people and communities living at the intersection of poverty, violence, trauma and oppression. What makes the updates here particularly exciting is that each and every one is an example of conscious efforts to bust down the silos that reinforce inequity and harm in our communities. Whether it’s the three teams in California working from What Goes Well, Missouri Division of Youth Services’ engaging families in important and creative ways, Missouri Children’s Division’s taking meaningful steps to make child welfare a community—not agency—charge, or the Greater Boston Full Frame Network members’ committing to working together across silos of their “issue areas,” these partners all are tapping potential outside the boundaries of their organizational structures.
Best wishes for a fall full of growth, change and potential.
- Katya and the FFI Team
Spotlight on Partners & Projects
Community Conversations: Listening for Change report now available
Last fall, Missouri Children’s Division and FFI, with the support of Casey Family Programs, convened seven Community Conversations across Missouri as a core strategy in improving outcomes for children and families. The input and energy of over 300 participants from government agencies, nonprofit programs and communities across the state helped define and launch significant, meaningful change. Read the report
for an overview of the process, results and actions to date.
What Goes Well project selects three community teams to participate
There have been lots of exciting developments for the Learning from What Goes Well Project in California. Three community teams were selected to round out the project’s collaborative co-learning space. They are the California Hmong Advocates Network (based in Northern and Central CA), the East Bay Community Birth Support Project, and the Male Violence Prevention Project (based in Santa Monica). FFI and our project partners—The Alliance for Community Transformations; Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence; The Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse; and Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles—are excited to join these amazing groups who are interested in learning new ways to address domestic violence and other forms of violence and oppression by starting with what is already going well. The first convening of the teams and project partners will be in January. And, Kristine Chong, the new Learning from What Goes Well Project Manager, joined the FFI team in October and is based in Los Angeles.
GB Network members explore their work in the context of wellbeing
The Greater Boston Full Frame Network (GB Network) convened in-person at the end of October to explore new ways of identifying and describing their work and daily practices in the context of the Five Domains of Wellbeing. A primary goal of the GB Network’s partnership with FFI is to increase awareness about the power and value of Full Frame practice and this meeting provided yet another meaningful opportunity for documentation and co-learning. With the GB Network members’ help, FFI will be releasing in early 2016 a guide for funders to help them identify and support Full Frame programs. The GB Network is comprised of four pioneering human service organizations explicitly orienting their work around people’s wellbeing. This was the GB Network’s first meeting in the western part of Massachusetts, and it was hosted in Greenfield by the Salasin Project of the Western MA Training Consortium.
Missouri DYS strengthens its capacity for a wellbeing orientation
For systems change to be sustainable, it must be held and owned by people throughout an agency or organization. This year, FFI and Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS) have been working together to build DYS’s capacity to train its own staff on the Five Domains of Wellbeing and communicate externally about the potential of a wellbeing orientation in juvenile justice. The indicators that this work is paying off are plain to see: DYS staff have presented on the Five Domains of Wellbeing to external audiences (without FFI), and DYS staff are running a two-day train-the-trainer later this month, equipping other staff throughout the state to provide training on using the Five Domains of Wellbeing in frontline work with youth and families. DYS staff capacity has grown so much that they have helped FFI staff train staff from other state systems—a milestone for both DYS and FFI.
Another area in which DYS continues to show tremendous leadership is demonstrating the importance of family engagement in improving outcomes for youth. In November, FFI trained staff in the southeast region in our Significant Moments workshop process (a process that helps people learn from what goes well), which they will be using to help families reconnect with positive times in their lives and to forge connections among families.
Capturing a #FullFrameMoment
Using resources creatively to support a youth's wellbeing
Full Frame organizations know that they sometimes have to use resources creatively in order to help clients create and sustain change. They support wellbeing for everyone in their programs by helping to build strengths and minimize tradeoffs in the Five Domains of Wellbeing—which for one youth in Boston meant having the right winter coat to brave the harsh elements and fit in with a peer group. In her last blog post
, FFI’s former Network Engagement Manager Leora Rifkin gives insight into how Greater Boston Full Frame Network member REACH Beyond Domestic Violence supports wellbeing by going above and beyond with individualized responses for clients.
Making the Case and Spreading the Word
Representatives from Missouri DYS bring wellbeing into conversation
In October, FFI’s partners Jennifer Booher
and Julie Breaux
from Missouri Division of Youth Services presented on the Five Domains of Wellbeing for the University of Missouri School of Social Work. Jennifer, Statewide Training and Development Coordinator, and Julie, Regional Administrator, explained how DYS uses the Five Domains of Wellbeing when working with kids and families in the full frame of their lives. They shared their learnings with teachers, counselors, community members, students and private practitioners during the event. Thank you to Jennifer and Julie for being champions for change and speaking to the importance of a focus on wellbeing when working with youth and families!
Now available: Five Domains of Wellbeing in a Policy Context
If you are invested in increasing access to wellbeing, check out this new resource from FFI. The Five Domains of Wellbeing in a Policy Context
will equip you to answer some of policymakers most common questions about why, when and how they might apply the Five Domains of Wellbeing in government. The FAQs are packaged with FFI’s June 2015 updated overview of the Five Domains of Wellbeing, making a great introductory resource to understand, inform or advocate for bringing a wellbeing orientation into public systems.
The critical intersection of wellbeing, race and oppression
In a recent blog post, FFI Senior Fellow Audrey Jordan
reflects on conversations she’s been participating in as part of FFI’s commitment to bringing a more explicit racial equity lens to our work. “Having Allies and Being an Ally: a Full Frame Initiative Foray into Race & Equity”
is now available.
Recent podcast discusses intimate partner violence and tradeoffs
FFI friend Kristie Thomas
, Assistant Professor at Simmons College School of Social Work, was recently interviewed by Jeff Olivett on Changing the Conversation, a show that features conversations on critical and timely topics related to homelessness, trauma, mental illness and addiction. Listen to the podcast
for interesting insights into the intersection of intimate partner violence, homelessness and trauma, and the role of tradeoffs, a concept central to the Five Domains of Wellbeing.
Our Team News
The FFI team continues to grow to support our work across the country! In September we welcomed Kristine Chong
as our new What Goes Well Project Manager. For the past 10 years, Kristine has been organizing around domestic and international human rights issues, including workers’ rights and access to health and human services. She has been active in immigrant and refugee communities and, before joining FFI, Kristine was the Lead Organizer with the California Immigrant Policy Center. Kristine works remotely from sunny southern California.
Reflecting our growth in size, geographic reach and impact, FFI is transitioning to a national board over the next two years. We are delighted to welcome John Kania
as our newest board member. For over 25 years, John has been helping leaders around the world achieve large-scale, lasting social change. John is co-author of the book Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World
. He is also one of Stanford Social Innovation Review’s
most frequently published authors, with recent articles: "Collective Impact" (2011), "Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World" (2014) and "The Dawn of System Leadership" (2015). Most recently, he's written "The Equity Imperative in Collective Impact" (2015)
, the first in a three-part blog series with Mark Kramer. He speaks frequently around the world on accelerating progress and social impact.
A new intern has joined the Greenfield office team for the semester to support our work of orienting child welfare systems around wellbeing. Kate Leddy
is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying journalism, public health and sociology. The combined communications skills and activism demanded by her fields of study fuel her passion for making a change in our society. She is excited to learn about the many projects at FFI that lead to those changes. Welcome to the team, Kate!
Change isn’t free. Over 35% of FFI’s funding comes from the generosity of individuals. We are deeply grateful to all our new and renewing supporters. Your support
fuels FFI’s growth and impact and unleashes the potential of people, families and communities to make lasting change!