Gathering in Sacramento Yields Ideas, Sharing & Transformation

Children, Youth & Family Community of Practice
Monday, June 8, 2015

In April, during the LSA Annual Conference in San Antonio, 12 LSA member organizations began a journey with The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Provider Exchange® on a program to foster an outcomes focused organizational culture and improve the lives of at-risk children and families.

The program focuses on outcomes and how they are measured, and encourages organizations that provide services to children, youth and families to look at how their organizational cultures address the needs of every child and family they support. During this year-long program, the participating members receive technical assistance from Dr. Laura Heintz, CEO of Stanford Youth Solutions.

This cohort pledged to convene multiple times over the course of the year to support each other with ideas, resources and best practices as they continue to evolve their organizational cultures to be more outcomes focused, and held their second meeting June 3-4 in Sacramento, at the headquarters of Stanford Youth Solutions.

Provider Exchange June 2015

As part of the meeting, the group toured the Stanford Youth Solutions headquarters and spent a day working with Provider Exchange Peer Leader Dr. Heintz. The group discussed organizational accountability metrics and coaching case managers to achieve results. The meeting emphasized the role that organizational culture plays and how to be intentional about creating culture. There was also discussion on staffing and training, and the challenges associated with recruiting and retaining licensed staff.    

“The energy and ideas we obtained from participating in the collaborative are truly helping us move forward,” said Shari Vandergast, Senior Vice President of Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries, who is participating in the cohort.

Said LSA VP of Member Engagement Alesia Frerichs: “I was blessed to observe the ideas, support and information that were exchanged during our time together in Sacramento. This is what leads to organizational change and transformation.”

Provider Exchange June 2015

LSA members participating in the Provide Exchange learning cohort in Sacramento included: Lutheran Services Carolinas, Lutheran Services Florida, Inc., Lutheran Services in Iowa, Lutheran Social Services of Indiana, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Upbring (the new Lutheran Social Services of the South), Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries and Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, Inc.

The cohort will meet next in Baltimore in November 2015. To learn more about the Children, Youth & Family community of practice, visit:

LSA members that provide services to children, youth and families are invited to contact Alesia Frerichs at for more information and to get involved.

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