- Posted by Famcare
- On April 4, 2017
- 0 Comments
The turn of the 21st Century–2000–was absolutely a line of demarcation in the history of the Family Care Network. While we didn’t add any new programs, we grew exponentially!
Up to this point, I wore a lot of hats. Aside from running the company, overseeing all of our direct services and being substantially involved with the Children’s Services Network, I also did all of our hiring and HR work, all of the accounting and payroll with the assistance of one account clerk, provided all of our routine IT and facilities maintenance using a consultant for network setup and management, wrote all of our policy and procedures, designed all of our literature and graphics using an occasional Cal Poly intern, and took all of our afterhour on-call emergency calls. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to brag here; I think this is what happens when you’re the founder of an organization. But while all these duties had once been manageable, they were now exhausting.
So our first order of business, heavily promoted by our Board Treasurer, Keith Sinton, was to hire a CPA to oversee our Financial and Administrative Services, including HR. And, we found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow–her name was Bobbie Scott. She was recommended to us by another Board member, Mike Sparrow. Mike knew her and her family, and that she was looking for another opportunity. She had been working for a local company as their Controller, and prior to that worked as an auditor for a large local audit firm. Hiring Bobbie was a coup d’etat – she is not only brilliant and effective, but has become one of the most important leaders and contributors to our organization’s growth and development.
The next huge gap to fill was that of our Clinical Director. Patricia Taylor who had served so well in this role for many years, was leaving to live closer to her grandchildren. As a person of impeccable character and a real heart for our organization, Patricia was compelled to find her replacement, and she did! His name was Jon Nibbio. As you learned from our earlier years, Jon was initially hired to launch our Family Intervention Program, and did so well that the Probation Department stole him from us. He was serving as a Division Manager, on his way to becoming the Assistant Chief, but he was ready to return to FCNI – another providential home run! As our Clinical Director and Chief Operations Officer, Jon has been an invaluable asset to the Family Care Network and a principal architect and driving force in shaping what Family Care Network has become.
I learned a long ago to hire people who are smarter and brighter than I am, and they will make you look good. Jon and Bobbie have done that! I have always been a highly motivated, innovative, passionate visionary and risk taker; now, these two have added balance, depth, detail, management, restraint and amazing skill to our organizational leadership. I could have never dreamed of a leadership team like we have become. The three of us have worked extremely well together, tirelessly molding, shaping, directing and managing the Family Care Network. We are driven to make FCNI an incredibly effective Community-Based Organization, obsessed with integrity, professionalism and especially in making a very positive impact on the lives of the children, youth and families we serve.
Three program grew rapidly during this fiscal year–Wraparound, Therapeutic Behavioral Services and Transitional Housing Placement Program. Because of the high-needs and acuity of the clients served in these programs, they were very staff intensive. Consequently, the Family Care Network became a recruitment, hiring and training mill; keeping us all very busy.
In order to effectively support our growth, we needed to begin building infrastructure. Our first two priorities were staff supervision and training. We added several more clinically trained Social Workers to provide supervision to our bachelor’s level In-Home Counselors (IHC). Having always been very proactive about staff training, we began adding core training courses and developing in-house trainers. One of our clinical supervisors, Carol Burch, worked with a local behavioral psychologist, Randy Ball, in creating a very comprehensive “Behavioral Interventions” curriculum. We also assigned two staff, Tracey Cleeland and Ben Martinez, to coordinate our direct services staff training program, Tracey worked on curriculum content, while Ben coordinated and provided much of the actual training. Ben soon became our Training Manager, a position he still holds today. In fiscal year 2015/2016, the Family Care Network provided 14,000 hours of staff training!
By now, it was apparent that with so many programs we needed to cross train staff to work anywhere within the organization. It was not cost-effective to assign someone to a program having a fluctuating caseload which created real disparities in workload assignments. This was especially fiscally challenging when revenues are generated by caseload. Aside from cross training staff, we created a scheduling unit designed to not only meet client contact needs, but to ensure staff productivity time remained high. This change became an invaluable resource management tool.
Another substantial infrastructure challenge for the organization was having adequate facilities with adequate IT capability. We were maxed out everywhere with no place to grow; plus, we had no large meeting space for the entire organization to gather. Fortunate for us, this was the period when the “dot.com” bubble burst and we were able to quickly find a new location to relocate our operations in the aftermath of the crash. We were still housed in three separate buildings, but all were contiguous to each other with interconnecting data/phone service. We also took a big step forward by hiring our first IT Specialist. While the new space wasn’t perfect, it did have a large conference room where we could gather all of our troops together and had a very reasonable lease rate. The landlord even threw in a very cool high-end color copier/printer abandoned by a prior tenant.
From the beginning of 2000/2001 to its end, the Family Care Network looked like a very different organization. Our heart and passion to serve our community remained strong, and we had implemented many new components in our delivery system to do a better job of it. We served 1089 children, youth and families that year through 14 programs, with a 91% success rate!