Strengthening Families Initiative
The Pascale Sykes Foundation strives to promote the Whole Family Approach via the Strengthening Families Initiative. This is accomplished, in part, through the work of grant-funded social service agencies functioning in collaboration as they utilize the Approach to help families reach their goals.
Whole Family Approach
Focuses on working families trying to get ahead; the approach is prevention, not crisis oriented.
- Whole people within whole families
- At least 2 adults in charge, all family members involved
- Family and individual plans with all family members working together; informal supports
- Long range plans with behavior goals; SMART behavior objectives (outcomes, indicators); dig for roots
- Agencies working together; shared information
- All agencies involved in data collection, data evaluation and reformatting of
a. individual family plans
b. entire effort
Promoting The Whole Family Approach Through Grants To Social Service Collaborations
The Whole Family Approach was initially piloted in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties located in rural Southern New Jersey. Its success in building strong, resilient families encouraged the Foundation to expand the Approach into Central New Jersey and New York City. Still in their first year, we are looking forward to learning the results of the Whole Family Approach as it is implemented in urban settings.
Regional Impact Using the Whole Family Approach
In Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties the holistic approach grew to encompass not only families but also extended communities. This was accomplished through integrating three areas: the Whole Family Approach in social services, transportation and economic development.
Strengthening Families in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties
SJ Social Service Collaborations – Understanding that family well-being is highly correlated with access to a wide array of professional and non-professional support systems, the Pascale Sykes Foundation created the Strengthening Families Initiative to strongly encourage agencies, public and private, to work together in support of families.
For months the Foundation held open public meetings and coalition meetings with representative county volunteers to ascertain the strengths and needs of Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties. They decided on the dedicated service areas to be funded in each respective county. Additional open public meetings were held to announce funding availability for these dedicated service areas and the Foundation awarded its first collaboration grants in 2011.
Collaborations utilize the Whole Family Approach in helping families reach their goals.
Transportation – It became evident that families trying to reach their goals were still being held back by a lack of public transportation available in South Jersey, especially as it relates to having a reliable means of transportation for employment. The Foundation sought to fill the gap by forming public-private partnerships funding community shuttles that provided linkages to public transportation and places of employment.
South Jersey Economic Initiative – Recognizing that families need a healthy economic climate to thrive, Pascale Sykes Foundation supports the South Jersey Economic Initiative. Its purpose is to encourage economic development the residents want to see in their areas.
The Economic Initiative has two prongs: New Jersey’s Heartland, a campaign to promote Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties and the name given to the four counties collectively; and THRIVE South Jersey, a fund offering non-traditional avenues of capital for small entrepreneurial businesses.