The BCC Compass – January 2022

by LA Spagnola

 

At the Board of Child Care, we have always been committed to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

People with diverse lived experiences and backgrounds consistently come together with unique voices to help push our mission work forward and uphold the belief that we can and will enrich communities, one family at a time.

Still, we never had an established plan to ensure we grow in our EDI efforts.

So last year, our dedicated EDI Committee developed BCC’s “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2022-2025” – a three-year plan that includes multiple approaches to elevate the overall culture of BCC. We have identified the following goals:

  • Enhance engagement and intercultural development
  • Sustain assessment, accountability and commitments
  • Expand pathways for access and employee success

Over the next few months, we will dig into these goals on The BCC Compass, sharing our objectives for each and steps we are taking to achieve success.

We will also continue to offer the open forums we launched last year. These forums help BCC leaders understand barriers and identify strategies to increase the overall sense of belonging.

Each of us has a role to play in this important effort. My hope is that in three years, the benefits of diversity and inclusion will become undeniable and will be embedded in the way we create policy, interact with our community and maintain professional environments.

Together, our team can magnify our impact, foster a healthy culture where we engage in joy and purpose and remove barriers while building momentum.

Thank you for joining me on the journey!

Warmly,

Laurie Anne “LA” Spagnola

President & CEO

Read more from The BCC Compass – January 2022

The BCC Compass December 2021

Holidays Across Cultures

The Board of Child Care has the pride and privilege of being the workplace of choice for so many people representing countless cultures and nations. During this time of year, our community’s focus shifts to reflect on the year and prepare for the new year ahead. As an organization that is striving to be progressive and aware of our diversity, we take the time to honor and learn the different ways our community chooses to celebrate this time. Check out a few tips on acknowledging differences during this holiday season:

  1. Host a Diversity Potluck where team members can bring foods that represent who they are. The act of eating together is communal for so many people and will allow for genuine engagement to take place.
  2. Share photos from the holiday to give your teams a preview of your life outside of work. While doing mission-driven work it becomes easy to lock in and only focus on work. However, we are people with lives and stories it’s important to share and create community.
  3. Host professional development opportunities that allow for people to learn the history behind holiday practices. Call on your team members to lead these conversations to add personal stories and experiences.

Maintaining inclusive workplaces allows for you to be creative on how to build community. During this holiday season take the time to lean in and embrace the diversity that exists within your teams.

On behalf of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, I wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.

Read more from The BCC Compass December 2021

Our 2021 re-accreditation site visit is complete!

Some reflections from BCC’s Chief Operating Officer

We just finished a three-day virtual site visit with CARF international and EAGLE, BCC’s two national accreditation bodies. Seven reviewers (4 from CARF, 3 from EAGLE) from across the United States and Canada spent time making sure BCC was meeting the mark across 1,700 + different standards. These ranged from governance and leadership, to finance, to program operations, to client rights.
This was a re-accreditation visit for BCC.  We get recertified every three years by CARF, and every four years by EAGLE.  Due to the pandemic, we were not able to do our visit last year, so we worked with both CARF and EAGLE to complete this accreditation jointly between the two teams.  We would usually welcome our reviewers onto campus for several days, but had to adapt to a virtual-only visit this go round.  Lots of time spent on MS Teams!
So how did we do?  Both EAGLE and CARF teams had their exit debriefs yesterday.  These are unofficial, verbal downloads of what the reviewers will be putting in their reports.  In both cases, we will not get the official report until CARF and EAGLE have both reviewed the site visit notes.  BCC holds these accreditations to learn how we can improve and do better.  There were some areas they recommended we adjust to better meet certain standards, but overall I am extremely pleased with how we did. We received compliments on the content and quality of our client and HR charts and even got some kudos on some things that BCC is doing that they are not seeing other organizations do in our space (especially in the areas of advocacy, state-level partnership to serve new populations, our alumni grant program, and the Caminos program).
At the end of the review, I’m proud to see we received perfect marks in the following categories!
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Planning and Management
What happens next?
  • In both cases, the reviewers make a recommendation up to CARF/EAGLE, who will then officially deliver our accreditation result.
  • Once we get our official results, we’ll submit a Quality Improvement Plan (or Corrective Action Plan) to address any areas noted that we need to adjust in order to meet the standard.

I’m incredibly proud of our teams for the amazing work they do every day – and especially for how they came together this week to really showcase how BCC shines! Great job everyone!

– Kristian

Kristian Sekse is BCC’s Chief Operating Officer.  One of his areas of responsibility is Quality Improvement (also called Quality Assurance), which is the team responsible for maintaining BCC’s audit, compliance, survey, reporting, and risk management programs.  This team oversees BCC’s accreditations and certifications.

Read more from Our 2021 re-accreditation site visit is complete!

The BCC Compass – November 2021

Expanding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion competency through Professional Development.

Professional Development opportunities, in concept, appears to be super easy to organize. “I get to grow as a professional, for free, with my co-workers” who wouldn’t want that? However, when it comes to creating and maintaining workplace environments that are knowledgeable and forward thinking, the intentionality behind creating professional learning opportunities becomes even more important. At the Board of Child, we believe that educating our communities on core Diversity and Inclusion Competencies is the foundation to promote inclusion on all levels of an organization. To take on this huge responsibility it was important for us to identify partners and teachers in an industry that is so broad and dynamic.

As an EDI facilitator my first job is to be aware that I am the “knower of nothing”. Regardless of how much formal education I have completed, books that I read, and trainings that I have led, there is no way that I can ever be an absolute expert on all things Diversity and Inclusion. What I do know is that my passion, my lived experiences, and of course my professional training provide me with a foundation to bring people together to learn about and move in a justice mindset. I pride myself most on being able to identify other professionals to partner with to ensure that the policies, initiatives, and learning opportunities that our agency creates is effective and truthful.

This year our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee worked hard to identify outside partners that could assist in our learning journey. To ensure that our goal of educating our employee population was attainable, the committee decided to host 4 professional learning opportunities on a quarterly basis focusing on the following topic areas: Anti-Black Racism, LGBTQ+ & Affirming Care, Cultural Humility, and Equitable Workplaces. To ensure that the content being delivered was interesting and relevant, we chose to partner with Diversity Trainers from diverse professional backgrounds with experience and passion for the subject matter. Collaboration is essential for any human service organization, especially for matters of Diversity and Inclusion. This journey can’t be done alone and its important to reach out and build community with professionals who can push your organization in the direction of inclusivity.

Tapping into social media networks like LinkedIn, Instagram and Clubhouse are both casual and professional ways of searching for Diversity speakers. Google is another great tool to use to identify other organizations that are doing great work in the community. Attend networking events where you have an opportunity to share the EDI journey that your organization is on an solicit the advice from others. As you can see, creating professional development opportunities, especially about Diversity and Inclusion is no easy task. It takes time to research and find the right person to partner with and speak to diverse audiences on matters that cause for vulnerability and unlearning, and that’s okay. In the end you are creating partnerships with longevity and professional development opportunities that will be impactful.

Read more from The BCC Compass – November 2021

Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Impact Tina Champagne-George

BCC Recognizes October 2021 Core Value Award Winner Tina Champagne-George

The Board of Child Care would like to recognize Tina Champagne-George as the October 2021 Core Value Award winner for Impact!

Ms. Tina's nomination reads:

"Tina C George offers safety with our Youth by watching the environment due diligence, informing maintenance to keep things fixed at all times, keeping sharp objects in the locked closet, helping Youth to make wise choices, teaching them life skills to perform out in the community at their best, Educated the Youth the world can be dangerous and scary so depending on their reaction and their attempt to play a part within society should be with a positive outlook. Tina embraces the Youth like her own, offers an empathetic ear, consoles them when needed, and uses the techniques taught by our TCI trainers."

Congratulations, Ms. Tina, and thank you!

 

Impact Drives Lasting Change

We seek to make lasting change in the lives of those we work with by providing services that are inclusive, measurable, and durable. We maximize our impact by investing in staff and board development. Feedback presents opportunity for action, which enhances and strengthens our programs and their outcomes.

 

Read more from Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Impact Tina Champagne-George

Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Empathy Kristin Lilly

BCC Recognizes October 2021 Core Value Award Winner Kristin Lilly

The Board of Child Care would like to recognize Kristin Lilly as the October 2021 Core Value Award winner for Empathy!

Ms. Kristin's nomination reads:

“We had new minors come to campus from Afghanistan in our Caminos Program. This was a new population with new backgrounds. Kristin did a lot of research and shared that research with the team. She took on one particular minor and noted that he had major anxiety with the transition. She ensured that the minor felt heard, consistently used a translator, and made herself available (sometimes even after her time on the clock). She expected nothing in return except for the minor to know that he was supported and seen for what he needed as resources in the program.

Congratulations, Ms. Kristin, and thank you!

 

Listen and Respond with Empathy

Empathy will guide our programming and culture at all levels. A supportive work and program environment means valuing the voices of all people, ensuring equitable representation, and growing a desire to know and understand others. We recognize that with empathy we will better understand what type of care and encouragement to provide.

 

Read more from Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Empathy Kristin Lilly

Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Relationships Teximarie Cruz

BCC Recognizes October 2021 Core Value Award Winner Teximarie Cruz

The Board of Child Care would like to recognize Teximarie Cruz as the October 2021 Core Value Award winner for Relationships!

Ms. Teximarie's nomination reads:

"Ms. Texi was originally a talent member at our Campolina Way Level 2 program. After a few months of working with the Youth there, Ms. Texi expressed interest in joining the Caminos West program. When Ms. Texi started, she immediately jumped in headfirst and became very engaged with the Youth. She was not shy and did not hesitate to learn more about the program or the population the program serves and immediately became a preferred staff for several of our Youth. We appreciate Ms. Texi, as do the Youth!"

Congratulations, Ms. Texi, and thank you!

 

Foster Relationships within our Community

Openness and honesty with all stakeholders make for both the best program outcomes and team culture. Inclusive practices are the building blocks for trust. We create space for conversations that grow transparency about our decisions, promises, and understanding of one another.

 

Read more from Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Relationships Teximarie Cruz

Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Safety Anthony Velez

BCC Recognizes October 2021 Core Value Award winner Anthony "Tony" Velez

The Board of Child Care would like to recognize Anthony "Tony" Velez as the October 2021 Core Value Award winner for Safety!

Mr. Tony's nomination reads:

"After being in BCC's custodial department for two years, Mr. Tony recently joined the Caminos West team as direct care staff. During Mr. Tony's first week, the Caminos West program faced a challenging time when a youth in Cottage 4 was experiencing psychosis and severe anxiety. Mr.  Tony was able to keep that Youth engaged and safe by consistently providing the Youth with things to do and learning how to communicate with him better when the Youth was struggling to do so."

Congratulations, Tony, and thank you!

 

Safety as A Mindset

We value life, spirit, and health above all else and take action to maintain the safety of our workplaces, programs, and services through a trauma responsive lens. We are personally accountable for our own safety and collectively responsible for the mental, emotional, and physical safety of our community.

 

Read more from Core Value Award Winner October 2021: Safety Anthony Velez

Jim Young Memorial Golf Tournament September 2021

Thank you to everyone who made the 2021 Jim Young Memorial Golf Tournament a great success! Please check out some more of the event photos HERE

The day began with clouds and light rain which gave way to warmth and sunshine by the time lunch was over and everyone was ready to hit the links! We had a special youth guest from our UMHC Mechanicsburg Campus who shared about the Impact the Board of Child Care’s programs are making in their life. Thanks to the generosity of the tournament sponsors and players, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $50,000. The timing could not be better as we are about to begin renovations of several of the Pennsylvania living units to prepare for a new program opening in 2022 (more on that soon).

Although the gorgeous weather gave way to wind and rain later in the afternoon, the clouds cleared in time to celebrate with our closing ceremony recognizing the day’s winners. However, the real winners of the day are the youth and families BCC’s programs support.

Even as we continue to face uncertainty, it is inspiring to see a gathering of people still focused on SAFETY, strengthening RELATIONSHIPS, giving with compassion and EMPATHY to make an IMPACT through enriching communities, one family at a time.

Read more from Jim Young Memorial Golf Tournament September 2021

The BCC Compass – October 2021

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

by Courtney Mercado

 

 

When you think about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion what is the first thing that comes to mind? You may think about diverse cultural holidays or interactive educational workshops. Maybe you thought about diverse leadership teams or wellness initiatives.

For most diversity and inclusion professionals our first thoughts are about money. What’s my budget? How much money has the organization allocated to a Diversity and Inclusion Department? How many people have been hired to do this work?

Money is always a touchy subject, but it is also a necessary one when it pertains to creating a culture that is more than just diversity language and marketing buzzwords. Inclusion, like everything else in the world, costs money to bring to life and organizations must think and plan about how much money will be needed to turn ideas and conversations about inclusion into your organization’s “new normal.” Here’s a few examples:

  1. Yesenia enters a building and jumps on an elevator to get to the next floor. Yesenia isn’t thinking about the reality that elevators are strategically installed into buildings to help people with mobile impairments access spaces easier and faster. What she sees as a quicker route to her destination is really an intentional inclusive practice for people who are differently abled.
  2. Ade is installing new signs for all the bathrooms in a law firm. They read “For Those Who Identify as Woman” and “For Those Who Identify as Man”. These signs were professionally designed and installed by an outside vendor and promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
  3. A Board of Directors has hired a diversity coach to partner with them to create Diversity and Inclusion goals to make the board more diverse and reflective of the agency’s client population. This diversity coach works with the Board of Directors for three consecutive years and helps the board successfully meet their outcomes.
  4. A client who is in a wheelchair makes a building manager aware that there are no ramps to safely enter or exit a building. The building manager takes this feedback to the owner, who now must bring in an engineer to effectively plan and estimate the cost of installing ramps at all the entry points.

Each of these scenarios illustrate how money is necessary to bring inclusive practices to life and it is imperative to research the costs of inclusion to be effective. At the Board of Child Care, we have a strategic goal of educating our senior leadership team on a variety of EDI competencies. To reach this goal, we needed to research and identify professionals in our community who were skilled at educating and guiding our leadership team through tough topics and helping build confidence around EDI issues and practices. This research has helped us become aware of the cost of educating our teams. With this knowledge we were able to project a budget for our next fiscal year so that in the future we can successfully reach our goal.

Embarking on your own EDI journey can be exciting and sometimes intimidating. Dedicate time to setting goals and researching the cost to meet your desired outcomes. Never shy away from advocating for funds because this work and the steps that need to be taken are important and deserve the same financial security as any other department, initiative, or strategic goal.

Read more from The BCC Compass – October 2021