John and Patricia provide individualized consultation, technical assistance and training services for private non-profit agencies, community collaboratives, family advocacy projects, and state and county human service departments through their independently operated practices.  Either of us would be happy to talk with you about whether we could be of assistance to you in your efforts to implement more strength-based and family-centered approaches.  Examples of the types of services we have been asked to provide include:

Project design and implementation. If your agency is considering the addition of a new service or program, we can help in a variety of ways, including investigating and synthesizing applicable research, facilitating your strategic planning process, crafting logic models, writing grant proposals and project summaries, preparing practice manuals and developing staff training and supervision systems.

Organizational assessment, alignment and adaptive change. If the tone in your agency feels somehow off-key, but you are having a hard time putting your finger on the cause, or if you are trying to guide your agency through a time of change and the passage is getting rocky, we can help. By completing a careful and objective assessment of the driving forces contributing to your organization’s culture, and sharing our observations of possible points of leverage and opportunities for growth and connection, we can help you map out practical steps for increasing your agency’s capacity to respond to the challenges you are currently facing.

Inter-agency collaboration. Individuals and families with complex needs often receive help from multiple agencies. Sometimes these agencies have a difficult time working together because of differences in procedures, style, timing, language, values, legal mandates or other reasons. To address this problem, many communities are forming systems of care – multi-agency collaboratives with synchronized procedures, structures, resources and missions. We can assist in this process by facilitating planning meetings, describing options for system design and operation, drafting inter-agency agreements, and providing on-going technical assistance during system implementation.

Informational presentations and workshops. We are often asked to provide workshops on various aspects of strength-based, client-driven practice, and related organizational change strategies. Examples of recent workshop titles include:

  • Evidence-Based Practice in a Deficit-Based World Authentic Intervention in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Cases.
  • Recovery and Resilience in Child and Family Mental Health Services.
  • Heart-felt Change: Creative Transformation in Strength-Based Organizations
  • The Collaborative Toolkit: Key Skills for Child and Family Team Facilitators
  • Directive Supervision: Aligning Vision, Values and Practice in a Client-Centered Agency.
  • Life on a Virtual Front-Porch: Applying the Neighborhood Concept to Interagency Collaboratives.
  • Defeating the Wraparound Gremlins: Facilitating Child and Family Teams in Challenging Situations

Operational tools and resources. Building upon what we have learned through our relationships with agencies that have sought to develop improved operational methodologies and service measurements, we have begun designing structured frameworks that can be adapted for use in a variety of organizational settings. They include:

  • The Collaborative Toolkit: A collection of manuals, materials, and exercises for training and supervising staff who facilitate strength-based teams.
  • The Directive Supervision System: A model for implementing value-based, outcome-driven supervision and support that insures alignment and consistency from the point of client service to agency administration.
  • The Connection Index: Tools for measuring client change and outcomes in the areas most closely aligned with the mission and values of the agency.
  • Common Ground: A phased planning strategy for developing and operating interagency systems of care.

There is no magic formula or standard template for an effective system of care.  Each community has its own strengths, challenges and ways of getting things done.  Just as each family reflects a unique blend of culture, preferences, values, habits and perspectives, so to do communities.  Within the general framework of implementing a strength-based, consumer-driven approach there are a wide variety of strategies for achieving more responsive and effective assistance.  

For this reason, we start by learning enough about our clients to tailor our services to meet their needs, while maintaining our focus on the principles and research that guide our practice.

For more information, please feel to contact us using the email link below:

To contact Patricia Miles, click here.

To contact John Franz, click here.

For an article by Pat with tips for choosing a consultant (even if it isn’t one of us) click here.

For a do-it-yourself instrument for planning organizational change, please click here.