Vision 2025

By 2025, Children’s Friend will be the “Go-To” organization in Rhode Island, and a nationally recognized innovative leader utilizing and developing best practices, in improving the lives of our youngest and most vulnerable. The agency will have the leadership, fundraising, technology, community, talent, services, financial resources, and strategy necessary to achieve and continue as the innovative leader for vulnerable young children.  We will accomplish this vision by developing strategies associated with:

Leadership: Children’s Friend will have qualified, committed, respected, and involved leaders incorporating the values of transparency, trust and team impact, and accessing necessary professional development and skill development both individually and as part of a team. Leaders will be empowered and supported to speak out and take risks when needed to advance our mission.

  • Leaders demonstrate a strategic mindset and develop strong followership.
  • Leaders encourage and welcome open and honest feedback, and continually embrace coaching, mentoring, and structured learning.

→ Strategic mindset and followership become components assessed as part of the annual competency-based performance evaluations for Executive and Management team members. By December 31, 2021.

→ The Executive Team Book Club is established and reads and shares internally and through discussion opportunities with the Management Team at least 6 books and/or articles annually related to leadership. Established by December 31, 2020, first 6 books/articles completed and shared by December 31, 2021.

→ The Children’s Friend Professional Development team creates and continually offers a specific leadership and management professional development track for Management Team members. By December 31, 2022.

→ Chiefs achieve a balance of strategic and operational responsibilities by engaging in a formal categorization and prioritization exercise process with a plan to achieve a target benchmark of 60% operational and 40% strategic. By December 31, 2022.

→ Through training and coaching, Management Team members have, practice, and can easily communicate a personal leadership philosophy.
By December 31, 2024

Fundraising: A comprehensive development strategy will be in place and executed on by effective leaders and experienced content area staff. This strategy will sustain our existing grant results and improve our unrestricted giving results. We will ensure a growing pipeline, donor base, and financial support for the agency through the solicitation of major gifts, federal and state grants, special events, corporate and foundation support, and a significant increase in bequests.

  • Major individual donor gifts exceed event fundraising.
  • Comprehensive and integrated donor recognition and planned giving programs are fully implemented.

→ Based in part on the results of an external comprehensive fundraising best practice audit, a comprehensive development plan, including planned giving, is developed and implementation is launched by March 31, 2021.

→ Necessary reorganization of the staffing of the Development Function, including any external recruitment of content area experts, is completed by
December 31, 2021.

→ The selection and implementation of a comprehensive relationship and fundraising management database is implemented, with strong protocols and procedures for required and consistent use, by June 30, 2022.

→ Major individual donor gifts exceed total event revenue on an annual basis by December 31, 2023.

→ Unrestricted fundraising revenue will grow to 3% of total agency revenue by December 31, 2025. In 2019 unrestricted fundraising was just under 1% of total agency revenue.

Technology:  Powerful, user-friendly, secure, and integrated hardware and software tools are in place to support, streamline, and strengthen our work throughout the agency. Access to and the use of reliable data informs decision making across the agency. New technologies are continually adopted to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and allow more meaningful and deeper analysis of key data points. Technology provides the ability to easily access & measure the internal management accounting of individual program operations in order to assess effective financial performance.

  • Integrated client database system using AI and PA improves service delivery.
  • Fully automated and integrated talent and payroll systems support the agency.

→ A mass communications system for staff and families is identified, purchased, and implemented by December 31, 2020.

→ A fully automated and integrated talent and payroll system is researched, identified, and fully implemented by December 31, 2021.

→ A five-year agency-wide comprehensive Information Technology plan is developed, supported, and implemented organizing and guiding the work to improve software and hardware through the implementation and replacement of systems and devices. The plan is created by June 30, 2021 and implemented through December 31, 2025.

→ A data analytics team is established and empowered to support and guide the collection, reporting, and use of data throughout the organization in a strategic and focused manner by December 31, 2022.

→ Through the work of a broad and wide lensed task force, a new user friendly, secure, dynamic, and integrated client database system utilizing agreed upon AI and PA systems, is fully implemented by December 31, 2025.

Community: A strong agency brand exists which attracts employees, volunteers, funders, community leaders, friends, partners, and donors who understand our vision, are committed to it, are kept engaged, feel valued, and understand how their contributions move us forward. Specific efforts to introduce research institutions and national foundations into our community.

  • Relationships support program evaluation, and measurement and dissemination of long term impact
  • Comprehensive brand building process leads to an internally understood and embraced brand which is consistently integrated into all aspects of our work.

→ An externally led agency-wide branding project will result in the identification and official rollout of the Children’s Friend brand to all stakeholders, with a plan for continued reinforcement, integration, and communication of the brand. The brand will be launched by September 30, 2021.

→ An annual comprehensive Marketing and Communications Plan will be developed and executed, based on internal data and tracking of performance, research, and evolving needs of the community and goals of the agency. The first plan will be developed by December 31, 2021 with implementation beginning with the 2022 year.

→ We will raise our national visibility by presenting at two national conferences with over 500 attendees and publish an article in at least one nationally circulated publication by December 31, 2022.

→ Two partnerships with well-known and highly respected research institutions and/or national foundations in the areas of child welfare and early childhood will be developed by December 31, 2023.

→ Children’s Friend will secure two grants to research the efficacy of specific services and targeted outcomes areas for our existing work. Grants will be secured by December 31, 2023, with short-term outcomes reported by December 31, 2025.

Talent: Highly competent content area leaders are in place with the autonomy and accountability for clearly defined areas of responsibility. Cultural competency is a basic expectation with all of our talent respecting and embracing diversity in our workforce. We provide market competitive compensation which attracts and retains the best and the brightest, represent the community we serve, and operate in a culture of high performance expectations. Our talent systems provide for supervisory & management performance training, succession planning, and internal career path development.

  • Systems are in place to continually measure key retention and recruiting metrics
  • Performance based compensation system is in place across the agency.

→ Annual raises will correlate to individual performance evaluations using a competency-based performance review system throughout the agency. Competency-based evaluations tied to annual increases will begin for the Management Team in 2021 and for the entire agency in 2022.

→ A comprehensive talent study will be conducted by external experts and a plan to address the findings will be developed and implemented. The Talent Study will be completed by June 30, 2020 and the plan will be developed and launched by December 31, 2021.

→ Based on the findings of the talent study, a specific plan to increase compensation across the agency will be developed and implemented. The plan will be completed by June 30, 2021 and will be fully implemented by December 31, 2025.

→ A Human Capital Assessment will be conducted in content areas to ensure competent and adequate talent is in place or will be secured by December 31, 2022.

→ Cultural competency is defined and staff are trained and held accountable to meeting it. The ethnic and racial diversity of the Executive Team (17% in July 2020) and the Management Team (28% in July 2020) will increase by 25% by December 31, 2024.

Services: Culturally competent, mission-aligned, high-quality, family focused, flexible, comprehensive, outcomes driven, and integrated services will be provided across our spectrum of services. The agency is a leader in performing with best practices and developing new recognized results oriented best practices. Growth will occur in numbers served as well as with the intensity of services and impact achieved. Continuous tracking, monitoring, reporting, and analysis of key metrics will produce real time adjustments to improve services.

  • ACES scores are reduced for families engaged in services.
  • Agency-wide integrated intake system is fully functional.

→ A fully functional, multidisciplinary, multilingual, and culturally competent Centralized Intake Team functioning as an embedded part of each program and as a seamless connection between programs, will ensure that clients are efficiently enrolled in the programs that best meet their needs. Centralized Intake will be introduced by June 2021 and be fully functional by December 31, 2023.

→ A fully implemented KPI system guides agency decision-making regarding performance improvement. KPI’s will begin to be introduced in 2021 and fully developed with the launch of the new client database system in 2025.

→ Executive Team, Management Team, and program teams will review, discuss, and use reliable data to inform operational and programmatic decision-making on an ongoing basis beginning in 2021.

→ Through the delivery of evidence-based and best practices services that are continually assessed and improved based on data analysis, clients served by Children’s Friend for at least 12 months will experience a reduction of 20% in their ACES scores upon discharge as compared to intake. This reduction will be reflected in discharges beginning in 2023.

→ Through targeted partnerships, with research institutions and national foundations, specific outcomes data for children served will be designed and collected in accordance with proving the long-term impact of those services. The long-term evaluation of program outcomes will be launched in 2023.

Financial Resources: Growth in contract revenue will fund core growth in services. Targeted national grant funding will be secured to fund the design of and long-term tracking of impact of services provided. Strong strategic financial management, the cost effective growth of unrestricted contributions, prudent investment management, and new planned gifts will provide the flexible funding necessary to achieve our vision.

  • Regular reporting of what specific investments achieve and at what cost.
  • Alignment tools and KPI’s guide purposeful investment decisions of agency resources.

→ A new cloud-based comprehensive and integrated general ledger and financial accounting is fully implemented, supporting the virtualization of records, electronic payments, and dynamic reporting capabilities by December 31, 2023.

→ Alignment of financial data with key service data and outcomes data to produce reports that influence and guide prudent investments of agency resources will occur at least quarterly beginning in 2021.

→ Professional development opportunities will increase the fiscal acumen of the Management Team members to ensure they have a basic understanding of financial information, agency finances, and how they influence and impact the finances of the agency. Professional development opportunities to begin by June 30, 2021.

→ At least $100,000 per year in grant funding will be secured to support agency efforts in capacity building, strategic management and innovation beginning in 2022.

→ Strong relationships with state and federal funders combined with reporting of outcomes achieved from specific investments in early childhood and child welfare will result in continued program and financial growth, with revenue exceeding $40 million by December 31, 2024.

Strategic Management: Clear, consistent, universally understood, accepted, and reinforced path forward towards the shared vision, which is tracked, monitored, and adapted as needed. Continuous performance quality improvement and alignment review, with purposeful data driven decision making related to programming and operations.

  • All programs and services fully aligned with the mission, principles, and business model, which are reviewed continually for alignment and relevancy, and modified as changing circumstances dictate.
  • COVID-19 and similar challenges and opportunities are confronted and evaluated in terms of both operational and strategic significance.

→ A “Path” for how we get to the Vision and a “Vision Glossary” are developed, disseminated, and reinforced through a strategic communications plan involving all stakeholders beginning by December 31, 2020.

→ A structure for the quarterly tracking, monitoring of progress, and identification of challenges in the implementation of the Vision is developed and functional by June 30, 2021.

→ Real Time Strategic Planning components including mission, principles, and business model are assessed annually, program self-assessments are completed annually, and formal program alignment review are completed every 3 years beginning in 2021.

→ Innovation Lab will be fully funded, staffed, and in full operation identifying, initiating, tracking, and reporting on relevant projects for study and improvement by December 31, 2022.

→ A spirit and culture of innovation exists throughout the organization, at all levels of hierarchy, in all direct service programs and service areas by December 31, 2023.