What We Are Learning
Concerned about the financial fragility and long-term sustainability of our county’s safety net system, we launched the Safety Net Resiliency Initiative in January 2018. The initiative aims to transform the system while building the financial resiliency of its providers over the next 10 years.
Several lessons have emerged about what it takes to invest in and support systems change.
Address Providers' Time and Resource Constraints
By providing stipends to organizations that participated in the Design Teams, we showed that we understand the time it takes for leaders to network, build relationships and engage differently.
Be Strategic AND Responsive
Funders can balance strategic approaches with community responsiveness by creating opportunities for providers to share - and then support - their innovative ideas.
Include the Whole Community
Providers wanted to include safety net consumers, community members and other sectors - such as first responders, courts, local businesses and school districts - in developing ideas and making decisions.
Communicate and Reinforce Critical Messages
Careful planning, consistent messaging and communication with the broader community helped to reinforce the idea of systems change while enhancing buy-in and participation.
Page down for other key learnings from the initiative.
Phase Two: Translating Lessons Learned
Based on what we have learned so far, we launched Phase Two of the initiative with the following key strategies:
- Innovation Lab grants
- Additional Community of Practice meetings
- Commissioned research
- Communications campaign and advocacy coalition
- Leadership Capacity Building Program
We will roll out these strategies over the course of 2019.