By Sheila Weber, Director of Strategic Initiatives
With more than 100 member organizations serving children, youth and families, the Lutheran Services in America network is recognized as a trusted leader for a broad range of services, from foster care and adoption to safe housing and childhood education. Collaboration is critical for delivering these services effectively. To expand and strengthen our collective efforts, our national network is seizing an opportunity to improve outcomes in our nation’s heartland with the formation of the Midwest Results Network.
October 14–15 marked the inaugural meeting of the Midwest Results Network in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Midwest Results Network is comprised of leaders from Lutheran social ministry organizations in the Midwest who previously participated in one of Lutheran Services in America’s Results Innovation Lab learning collaboratives. Current membership includes individuals from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, and Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota.
The Midwest Results Network is working toward the “Moonshot Goal” established by Lutheran Services in America to dramatically improve the trajectory of the lives of 20,000 vulnerable children in America by 2024. Their efforts position participating organizations to reach equitable program and population-level targets for individuals, youth, and families in their communities by continuing to develop participants’ skills and knowledge in results-based leadership and working to develop and sustain an organizational results culture.
Midwest Results Network chair Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen notes, “The organizations that participated in the first two learning cohorts have found significant value in results leadership and the potential it has to help our organizations work to address persistent challenges and disparities in our communities. The Midwest Results Network allows us to strengthen our skills and learn from one another on an ongoing basis. It is also helping us to build a culture of results throughout our respective organizations.”
The Midwest Results Network convenings are centered on three primary purposes:
- Relationships: To provide an opportunity for leaders to network, collaborate and develop strategies around key issues facing children, youth and family serving organizations.
- Accountability: To accelerate progress by providing support and accountability for organizations as they pursue their results work.
- Learning: To strengthen the results skills of participants through ongoing training and opportunities to facilitate results meetings. This includes the introduction of additional organizational leadership to results-based leadership.
The Midwest Results Network has identified a Steering Committee comprised of participating organizations that plan and organize the work of the group. In addition, Lutheran Services in America supports the activities of the Midwest Results Network in an advisory capacity.
2019–2020 Steering Committee Members
Chair: Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen (Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota)
Vice-Chair: Erin Dittman (Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska)
February Event Chair: Tonya Blasen (Lutheran Services in Iowa)
April Event Chairs: Patrice O’Leary (Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota)
April Location Chairs: Tonya Blasen/Bill Kallestad (Lutheran Services in Iowa)
Members: Amanda Kryzkowski (LSS of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan), Beverly Jones (LCFS of Illinois)
2019–2020 Meeting Schedule
October 2019: In-person Meeting (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
February 7, 2020: Webinar
April 23–24, 2020: In-person Meeting (Des Moines, Iowa)