Saint Vincent’s initiated a Strategic Planning process last year because of the number and depth of changes we have experienced as an agency in the last few years, and to answer the question: “what do we need now to accomplish our Mission?” – Saint Vincent's being what is now and not what was even a few years ago. The planning process has helped us to identify our strengths and challenges; provided strong confirmation of staff commitment to our Mission, Core Values and focus on children and families - i.e. the passion of our staff in improving the lives of children and families; and we had some rude awakenings to our shortfalls and gaps in the reality of our practice, based on all of the feedback from the various focus groups. All staff were invited to provide feedback in various ways, and 165 individuals internal to Saint Vincent’s actually provided input to the process. Another 22 individuals from the community participated in external focus groups or interviews. We formed a Strategic Planning Committee consisting of agency staff, outside stakeholders, and board member to review all of the input and to establish strategic goals and objectives on which Saint Vincent's will focus in the months to come. The Committee completed its work on April 12, 2016. During the process, we formed three Task Forces whose work will continue as we move forward with more clearly defining and implementing our goals.
Thank you to each of you who chose to participate in this process. Now we need to build on our successes by supporting the change process with diligence, integrity, confidence, pride in our accomplishments, and a heavy dose of persistence and consistency. We have to recognize that change will not occur as the result of one change happening one time. Change will occur by building consensus and with one change building on another over time. Gandhi is quoted as saying: “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” That is what we need to do to continue to implement this process of change. We have to be the change we want to create. In the months ahead, we will post and email information related to the roll-out of the next phases of the Strategic Planning Process as we distribute the written Strategic Plan, refine our goals further and implement our action plans.
This planning process has helped us to define the elements of infrastructure we need to have in place to support the agency we are today, by integrating the changes we have already made and implementing those changes which will support staff in providing the best possible services for the children, youth and families receiving services within each of level of care.
While there is need for change, we also learned from this process that Saint Vincent’s staff is committed to fulfilling our Mission and will extend themselves personally and professionally to ensure that each client receives the high-quality care which has become synonymous with Saint Vincent's. Thank you all in advance for your contributions to this process and, equally as important, to our mutual goal of meeting the goals we have established for ourselves as an agency and for the clients who seek our assistance. The heart of Saint Vincent’s - of any agency, really - is our staff, and we must all commit to lead with our own change and add value to the agency as best we can. Thank you for choosing to invest in Saint Vincent’s Mission.
- John T. Weldon, MSW, Executive Director