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2018 Annual Report FAMILY LEAGUE OF BALTIMORE

Each year, Family League of Baltimore pauses to reflect on the past year and share with our stakeholders the kind of transformative work we do with and for our partners in the City of Baltimore. Transformative aptly describes the year we are concluding as we ushered in new leadership and new approaches while preparing to embark upon a period of reflection and preparation for our new strategic plan.

It is our mission to serve as an agent of change promoting data-driven, collaborative initiatives and aligning resources to create lasting outcomes for children, families and communities. This year, we continued to focus on doing a better job of living up to our mission, starting with the way we measure our work. We further operationalized our use of Results-Based Accountability, considering our work through the questions:

  • How much did we do?
  • How well did we do the work?
  • Was anyone better off because of the work?

While we have, as an organization, viewed our work through this lens, we had a renewed focus on supporting our funded partners and other community stakeholders in doing the same.

Shifting the organization's approach to its work was one of our top priorities going into Family League's new season of leadership. At times, in the non-profit community's zeal to address the struggles faced by the people we serve, we place an emphasis on fixing things for them and not with them. This year, we worked intentionally to change the way we engage. We started doing more listening and less talking. We recognize that if we are to successfully live up to our mission of serving as the architect of meaningful change for the children and families we serve, we have to be willing to allow the needs and concerns of the community inform our work.

Family League accepted an organizational willingness to acknowledge the role a bitter history of systemic racism plays in creating many challenges faced by the people we serve. Our team members participated in in-depth training and introspection which allowed us to unpack how biases provide context to the ills and barriers we work each day to heal and remove. Furthermore, we as an organization placed an emphasis on pursuing our work through a racial equity lens, making sure that we recognize and respect the agency of the community we serve. We actively worked to expand access to funding opportunities, providing resources to a broad population of community-based organizations and striving to help community help itself. Most importantly, we took the first steps toward adopting a cultural shift toward equity in practice, not just theory.

As we move into this Year of Transformation, we look forward to continued improvement as an organization, expanded engagement with the community we serve, and moving one step closer to our vision of a Baltimore where every child grows up in a family that thrives.

Our Mission

Family League of Baltimore serves as an architect of change in Baltimore by promoting data-driven, collaborative initiatives and aligning resources to create lasting outcomes for children, families and communities.

Our Vision

A Baltimore where every child grows up in a family that thrives.

Our Values

Stewardship

Working with integrity in our collaborations to maximize and deploy resources that bring positive solutions to children and families.

Performance

Displaying a deep commitment to identify and implement solutions that fulfill the needs of those we champion, achieve measureable outcomes and accomplish shared goals.

Trust

Encouraging open conversation by establishing an environment where internal and external partners know their voices are heard and valued.

Respect

Actively listening to the individual voices, perspectives and ideas of our community, and celebrating their diversity while treating them with dignity.

Innovation

Thinking creatively about best practices helps us identify new paths that lead to purposeful change.

Equity

Applying a racial equity lens to our policies, practices, and organizational culture, evaluating and developing new practices, and rebuilding relationships that are based upon a commitment to justice and the dismantling of institutional racism.

Our Foundation for Transformative Work

Funded Partnerships

As the designated Local Management Board (LMB) for Baltimore City, Family League is entrusted with leveraging funds from local and state government, braiding them with philanthropic dollars to support quality, community-based organizations as they implement strategies addressing shared priorities. We also connect and convene private and public funders, local community leaders, educators, health professionals and businesses to develop a shared agenda for action.

Funded Partners provide the foundation for our work to make lasting change for children, youth, and families in the City of Baltimore. This fiscal year, we invested more than $13 million in 73 organizations to help children and families in Baltimore reach their full potential. In addition to financial support, we provided structure and guidance with required reporting, administrative policies, and compliance documentation.

Data & Evaluation

Family League is committed to the success of our partners, and we approach our management and oversight of the work from a strengths-based, outcomes-focused, and supportive framework. Family League uses Results-Based Accountability (RBA) to monitor our partners’ performance and our own. This framework guides programs to understand how much they are doing, how well they are doing it, and ultimately if participants are better off because of the work programs do. This approach aids programs to better tell the story of their work. In FY18, Family League delivered myriad trainings and technical assistance focused on data collection, data quality, performance measure development, and evaluation to our partners and the community.

Professional Development

Family League of Baltimore offers a range of professional development workshops throughout the year. All workshops are free of charge to participants and open to anyone who wishes to attend. In FY 2018, 1,448 total hours of professional development were earned by 508 workshop participants in 47 offerings in the areas of youth development, program quality, Restorative Practices, trauma-informed care, and health and safety.

Public Policy

Solid policy advocacy provides the foundation necessary for lasting change for the children and families of the City of Baltimore. In FY 2018, Family League successfully advocated for a number of bills aimed at bringing about that change.

Community begins with family. Birthing families deserve safe and empowering environments. Policies must address the impact of racism and its impact on health. I began this work to save myself. Each birth of my children added to my advocacy. I will continue to advocate and empower my community for my children and the generations to follow.

Andrea N. Williams-Muhammad, CBD, CPD, CCBE, Birth/Reproductive Justice & Equity Advocate

Transformation in Early Childhood

Home Visiting

In FY 18, Baltimore City Healthy Families America home visiting programs completed

School Readiness

Raising a Reader

Raising A Reader's mission is to engage caregivers in a routine of book sharing with their children from birth through age eight to foster healthy brain development, healthy relationships, a love of reading, and the literacy skills critical for school success. The program works to get books into homes and focuses on strengthening family and community connections.

Family League, as a part of its work with B'More for Healthy Babies, has supported Baltimore City Housing Authority's implementation of this program in the city's Brooklyn neighborhood.

Learning for the first time that children who lack basic literacy skills by the age of 3 years old are 3-4 times more likely not to graduate high school was thought provoking. Working in a community that has so many children with very little efforts to engage them creatively is disheartening, which is why I was so excited to work with Raising a Reader and to participate in the book exchange with our kids. If it meant going door to door every week so they had new books to read, then that’s what I did. It’s not enough to share this information with parents but to make sure they understand it.

Lashea Webb, Resident Service Coordinator

Transformation through Food Access

As a Family Child Care Provider, I find myself in a unique position to learn something every day, contributing to and recognizing variations in my friends' development. We share healthy meals and learn to grow our own foods here. The best part is that we cheer each other’s accomplishments and identify our unique strengths and needs so we can plan for our continued development.

Kim Sydnor, Family Child Care Provider

Transformation through a Collaborative Approach to Education

Community Schools & Out-of-School Time (OST)

During school year 2017-18, parents and guardians of students at Community Schools logged a total of

Transformation through Support of Opportunity Youth

Keys to Success

Family League partnered with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services to manage the expansion of Ready by 21’s Keys to Success curriculum, offering it during non-traditional business hours (e.g., nights and weekends) and to an entire age group (youth ages 14 to 24) not currently being served by the program. Programs and services were facilitated by experienced professionals from various grassroots organizations. The initiative proved to be beneficial for participants, with many looking forward additional similar programming. Activities included:

  • K2S Life Skills Cohort
  • K2S Youth Outreach Team
  • Keys to Success Mayor's Saturday Academy
  • K2S Deep South College Tour and Life Skills
  • K2S Life Skills College Tour
  • K2S Collegebound ... What Now?
  • K2S Life Skills Small Athletic Grants
  • Mayor's K2S Spring Break Academy
  • I Am The Change Youth Leadership and Empowerment Conference
  • K2S Summer Bridge Expanded Learning Life Skills
  • Youth Connect Summer Jam Resource Fair

Identifying & Remediating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Family League - with the support of community partners including Creative Development Studies, Creative Nomads, Cuties on Duty, Gifted Girls, KEY Development, Playing with Purpose, Project Restore, The Movement Team, The REAL Project, The Rising Mama, and The Ryan Institute - developed a slate of programming to remediate the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Baltimore's Penn North neighborhood. The initiative was designed to identify patterns of early stress in children’s lives for the purposes of:

  • Avoiding instances of abuse and neglect;
  • Avoiding their placement into foster care;
  • Connecting families with available social services in the hopes of preventing a trajectory of repeated stress; and
  • Improving educational, social, and health attainment.

The program focused on children in Penn North (zip code 21217) because this neighborhood has one of the highest rates of familial stress as evidenced by the fact that it is the source of 40% of the calls made to the Baltimore City Department of Social Services regarding abuse and neglect. The approach of the program was to meet children, with their families, where they spend most of their days, in school, and to take an in-depth look into their lives, their strengths, their needs, their vulnerabilities; academic, health, and structural. The focus was on children in first and second grades as the initial point of intervention with an extension to the entire elementary school community.

Activities included a kick-off event and launch party focused on radical self-care; family health and wellness pop-up sessions; the Women Crush Wednesday (WCW) community forum, and ongoing college/career readiness services. The program's capstone event was "A Night of Family, Fun, Hope, and Healing." Students and families enjoyed a fun family night out, recognizing the resiliency of the Penn North Community and exposing them to a wide variety of activities.

Baltimore Summer Skill Builders

Baltimore Summer Skill Builders (BSSB) is a paid summer work and life skills development program for youth ages 14-15. Led by Family League, the program is supported through a partnership with the International Youth Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED). BSSB operates primarily in Community Schools. Youth participate in the Passport to Success curriculum which includes key work- and life-skills concepts, while also completing community engagement projects.

On average, youth improved their work readiness skills as measured by the MOED Work Readiness Assessment administered at the beginning and end of the program by supervisors.

Participants were also given pre- and post-program surveys to assess BSSB’s effectiveness.

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