Our first newsletter in 2016 highlights what happens when you start from what’s going well in order to support lasting community transformation. Read it here to learn about our new toolkit for philanthropy, find exciting updates about the project in California, meet our newest superstar team members and more!
We are delighted to announce the release of SHIFT: FROM SHORT-TERM CHANGE TO LASTING WELLBEING THROUGH THE FULL FRAME APPROACH A toolkit to help the philanthropic community support transformative practice.
This toolkit was developed for the philanthropic community and other stakeholders interested in supporting long-term, sustainable change for people living at the intersection of poverty, violence, trauma and oppression.
An increasing number of organizations are moving beyond short-term fixes to support wellbeing by applying the Full Frame Approach. The Full Frame Approach is a way of working with people facing multiple challenges that supports them in the full frame of their lives, recognizing that people who face complex problems need support as multi-faceted as the lives they lead. Through the Full Frame Approach, programs attend to the Five Domains of Wellbeing—social connectedness, safety, stability, mastery and meaningful access to relevant resources—while minimizing the tradeoffs that come with change.
By focusing on whole people and wellbeing—not discrete problems—programs that take the Full Frame Approach are able to support deep and lasting change, even for people and families who have been previously involved in systems and services for years.
- Learn more about the Full Frame Approach, and how it supports wellbeing and lasting change
- Identify Full Frame Approach indicators in practice, through case examples
- Find concrete tips and actionable steps for supporting the Full Frame Approach
- Reference sample grant guidelines, application questions and grantee reports
FFI created this resource through a collaborative effort with our partners in philanthropy and with four exemplary community-based nonprofit organizations in Greater Boston—Julie’s Family Learning Program (South Boston), On The Rise (Cambridge), REACH Beyond Domestic Violence (Waltham) and The Salasin Center of Western Massachusetts Training Consortium (Greenfield).
The goal of the toolkit is to inspire a meaningful transformation in the way in which human service programs operate and are supported so that many more people and communities facing multiple challenges can break cycles of poverty, violence, trauma and oppression. We hope you find it thought-provoking and inspiring in our shared goal to successfully address the entrenched social problems that prevent people living at the margins from achieving their full potential and wellbeing.
We welcome your feedback on the toolkit and invite you to continue the conversation with the Full Frame Initiative by sharing your insights, expertise and questions. Let us know your thoughts and reactions, and how you plan to use this toolkit to support this transformative practice.
For more information, please contact:
Anna Melbin, Director of Strategic Capacity Building
- the Missouri Children’s Division-FFI partnership that is using the Five Domains of Wellbeing as the foundation of the state’s child welfare system reform effort
- the findings of FFI’s three-year project in California to document how different stakeholders understand success for survivors of domestic violence
Recently, the Full Frame Initiative held a day-long training in St. Louis City with Court personnel, Division of Youth Services staff and Children’s Division staff. The training covered several topics, such as an overview of the Five Domains of Wellbeing, understanding tradeoffs and reviewing a court case. One of the other topics explored in the training was natural community supports. Each group was given a St. Louis City Neighborhood and asked to identify the actual name of community members from the mail carrier to the middle school teacher. Participants were not allowed to Google information but only use personal connections. The activity was a powerful way to solidify the importance of natural community supports.
Take a minute to listen to a group of 5th graders who wrote an article titled “You Really Don’t Know Us,” about their community. It is extremely powerful to hear from the youth about their community. Think about the neighborhood you work in, what are the natural supports in your community? Think beyond paid services because most paid providers will not be in the family’s life after the intervention. Think about who can help the family to make change that lasts.
Written by Carla Gilzow, Quality Assurance Unit Manager with Missouri Children’s Division.
Our latest newsletter showcases the ways in which our partners are breaking down silos, pushing beyond organizational boundaries and unleashing the potential for change, all to increase access to wellbeing for people living at the intersection of poverty, trauma, violence and oppression. Read it here to learn more, catch our latest blog post, meet new faces and find out who’s spreading the word!
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 public progress report here: an overview of the process, results and actions to date.
This issue celebrates the learnings we can all find in our work and communities by more closely examining success, not just dissecting mistakes or problems. We also announce two new open positions, highlight the outstanding work of our partners, and share our summer reading picks with you. Read on!
It was a cold, snowy Friday morning in South Boston, but walking into Julie’s Family Learning Program it felt like a spring day. Their blue tile floors and cheery decor made me feel an immediate sense of comfort and welcome. Julie’s is a member of Full Frame Initiative’s Greater Boston Network. They are a community-based family support and education program, founded in 1974, committed to enabling strong, stable, healthy families. They work with parents and their children to break cycles of poverty.
I was there with my colleague, Anna, to hear about their work directly from their staff. We wanted to learn about how Julie’s supports families in the full frame of their lives, and what that looks like in daily practice.
As we sat around the tables in one of their classrooms, deep in conversation, we heard how the Julie’s team creates safe space for families to be their whole, even vulnerable, selves by suspending judgment. One staff person mentioned their goal claiming ceremony, which takes place every four months, as a practice that she feels speaks to the culture of Julie’s.
At Julie’s nothing is too big, or too small, to be celebrated. During the goal claiming ceremony, the parents each share triumphs significant to them, such as quitting smoking or getting to Julie’s on time, with 3 children, on public transportation. Each moment is applauded and honored equally.
This practice speaks to Julie’s philosophy and approach; each staff person establishes a relationship with the family members based on what’s important to that family. Staff do not prioritize for anyone or prescribe a service or intervention based on the family’s “issues.” When Susie’s (not her real name) son was diagnosed as autistic, Julie’s staff helped coordinate care with early intervention services at home. But as important as the actual services, staff allowed Susie the space to accept and process her child’s diagnosis on her own terms, and to even grieve. Julie’s staff understood that Susie needed both meaningful access to relevant resources for her son, as well as to feel emotionally safe, before she could turn to her own educational goals.
The way Julie’s staff supported Susie provides a snapshot of what Full Frame practice looks like in action in that program. They are listening to how people in programs define success for themselves in order to support them to go from making change to sustaining change in their lives. Full Frame practice, as demonstrated by Julie’s, requires providers to acknowledge what is significant for each individual or family, to suspend judgement, and to support people in reaching a full sense of wellbeing.
Leora Viega Rifkin is FFI’s Network Engagement Manager. She staffs the Greater Boston Full Frame Network and in her role spends time at the member programs to document how Full Frame practice looks in a variety of practice settings. For a list of Greater Boston Full Frame Network members, click here.
FFI has released a report and action plan calling for the Domestic and Sexual Violence field to reclaim its social justice roots, critically examine how it responds to the reality of DV/SA survivors’ lives (especially when the violence is not the only challenge being faced) and move forward in new ways to ensure that survivors, their families, and their communities are part of efforts and services that recognize their assets and strengths. This report draws heavily upon the work and perspectives of the members of FFI’s newly launched DSV Cohort Demonstration Project, and is informed by FFI’s statewide project in CA examining how survivors and other stakeholders define survivor success. It discusses the current “state of the field”; outlines the Cohort’s action plan; and includes a summary of the initial summit of the national DSV Cohort and allies Atlanta in December 2013. The DSV Cohort recently reconvened in Indianapolis for two-days, to start moving on the action plan. For more information, please contact Anna Melbin.