OUTCOMES AND CASE STUDIES
During our 2018 fiscal year, we helped our children and families achieve some of the following:
Family Success Initiative
Family Coaches in the Family Success Initiative work with parents to help them develop new parenting skills, gain a network of peer support, and to believe in themselves, so that their children have stable, nurturing homes.
- 300 + parents participated in our Family Success Initiative
- 81 children reunited with families taking part in Family Success Initiative
- Our goal is to serve 400+ parents annually by 2020
“This journey has taught me that my actions, my feelings and my words I show toward my daughter, will be the actions, feelings, and words that encourage her growth and self-confidence or destroy her character. This journey strengthened my mind, healed my soul, dried my tears and gave me a new sense of being whole.”
“David” (Family Success Initiative participant)
Through the Graham SLAM college and career program, we are pioneering one of the the first programs in the country to provide coaching and continued support for youth who have been in foster care, staying with kids until age 26.
- 92% of young people in Graham SLAM completed high school by age 21 (compared with 22% in NYC who aged out of foster care)
- 70% of college students continue between semesters, a rate for young people in foster care that far outpaces national statistics
- 50 students attend college each semester on average
We aim to more than double this high impact program in five years so that over 900 youth receive this springboard to life success, with the goal of all entering a living-wage career path
“My coach is like my hero. Without her, I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten so far. She has kept me on the right track and has always stuck by my side, through the good and the bad. I love helping and giving back to the community, and I will never forget where I came from. My dream job is to work for the FBI – the sky is the limit! My message to everyone is: Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”
Carissa (Graham SLAM participant, college graduate and Honor Society student)
Graham Prep provides a foundation for education and career success for the youth at our Graham School, who are struggling with past trauma that has led to behaviors that are too challenging for community schools. Activities range from leadership training to art therapy and meditation.
- 86% of high school seniors graduated from The Graham School in 2018
- 36 students enrolled in Graham Prep
- 100 students to be served each year by growing program in next five years
Graham Prep provides youth with the personal development needed to succeed in school and life and exposure to new experiences and career options.
“When I thought I could not get back up, Graham had held out its hand. I grabbed it and before you know it, it seems as though I’ve learned to get back up. It felt like I was walking for the first time in years. I was getting that fiery passion to try life once again. So I did. Now I cannot see myself back at where I was. I’m too busy getting A’s in class. Working with a carpenter. Showing my pride colors. Studying for theater so I can be on stage and tell a story like I am now. For once in my life, the future seems unlimited.”
Paloma (Graham Prep participant and Graham School graduate)
OUR FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE
We at Graham Windham take our performance very seriously. We must; the consequences of our performance are staggering. A 10 percentage point increase in our rate of permanency (safe reunification of children with their parents or adoption), for example, means that nearly 100 more children have a safe, nurturing environment to call home. How’s that for motivation to do our job well!
All at Graham Windham are welcome to point out where we are struggling and how we may do better, and many do. It starts from the top with the Board’s Performance Committee, which closely examines not just what we are doing every day but scrutinizes the outcomes of our work — whether we are ensuring that all children have a safe, nurturing family and the opportunities and preparation to excel in school and life. And, it comes from the frontline, our committed practitioners, who challenge the organization to better support, train and guide them so they can be their best for children and families.
To help our managers provide strong support to our social workers, clinicians, teachers, educational advocates, coaches, and other specialists, we supply them with information technology tools that provide snapshots of how we’re doing. We also assist managers by analyzing program data, reviewing records, presenting case studies and collaborating on ways to improve our performance. This team and other coaches in the agency train and advise staff in our agency’s practice model, Solution-Based Casework, which provides a framework for helping families to create and carry out action plans with strategies that work. This model celebrates small and large successes, and we, in turn, celebrate our staff accomplishments through recognition and by rewarding good practice with merit-based awards for all levels of staff.
Graham’s Leadership Development in Partnership with Columbia Business School
In November 2020, Columbia Business School’s Executive Education department published a case study focusing on the way Graham has approached leadership development and built a management team that is diverse and skilled at managing collaboratively and inclusively.
Graham’s Performance Practices Highlighted by Bridgespan
In April 2012, The Bridgespan Group, a well-known non-profit consulting group, released an article titled “Building Capacity to Measure and Manage Performance,” in which the group highlighted Graham Windham’s self-evaluation practices as a leading example of excellent performance measurement and accountability practices.