02 Jun The Road Ahead

As we reflect upon the last 25 years of serving kids and families, we see that we’ve always been committed to adapting and changing in innovative ways to meet the needs of the youth that we serve.  And although it’s important to know one’s history, it’s just as important to plan for the road ahead.

To ensure the continued relevance, sustainability, and growth of the YOC, the staff and board of directors engaged in the rigorous process of building a new multi-year strategic plan.

In phase one, we developed a comprehensive situational analysis that looks at where we stand today as an organization and through this process, we evaluated the nature of our current industry and marketplace. We even challenged ourselves to find the true purpose of the planning process itself. Through input from staff, stakeholders and our board, we ultimately identified several initial planning goals.

We started by recognizing the importance of establishing goals that are measurable and based on actionable data and experience. This is necessary to track progress and ensure forward movement. By implementing strategies to reach our goals, we are rallying our entire team toward a common direction, while learning more about our organization and ourselves through the process.

The YOC relies on the generosity and support of our external stakeholders. In an effort to demonstrate good stewardship and intentionality with the resources we receive, we will consistently focus on prioritizing our activities and resource allocation toward the most impactful initiatives.

Recognizing that the landscape of our industry is continually changing, it is crucial for our team to establish and maintain a strategic mindset so that we can be nimble in our decision-making and planning to keep pace with the changes.

And finally, as with any group project, communication is crucial to its success. Therefore, senior management of the YOC has committed to being available and receptive to suggestions and concerns from both internal and external stakeholders throughout this process.

We are using the outcomes of this plan to guide our activities and decision making as we seek to serve kids and families, connect with current and future clients, engage our communities and create meaningful outcomes. In the end, we identified activities in four distinct focus areas under which all of our goals and strategies were organized:

Serving our Kids and Families

The Youth Opportunity Center recognizes that our service to children in our care is the reason we exist. We are committed to the continuous quality improvement of all current and future programs based on three key factors: positive impact on kids and families, demand from the marketplace, and financial sustainability. Keeping these elements in mind we will ensure the organization is in a position to deliver the highest level of care.

Building our Team

It will be a key part of our culture to ensure that every member of the Youth Opportunity Center team will passionately and selflessly work to create a culture that is known for caring and competency so that the YOC is known throughout our community and industry as a preferred place of employment. We will recruit and retain the very best staff members to work with our kids and families, invest in each person on our team through training and professional development, celebrate performance that reflects our vision and values, and reward our staff appropriately.

Sharing our Story

Consistent with our role as a leader in our industry and community, the YOC will proudly share our story of impact on the lives of kids and families in innovative and strategic ways. To encourage more child placements, stronger staff recruitment, more contributions and better good will, we will communicate, educate and engage our many stakeholders including families, placing agents, donors, staff members, and community.

Leveraging our Resources

The Youth Opportunity Center recognizes the importance of financial vitality to the ultimate realization of our vision. Sustainability and long-term impact will be possible only when we identify, monitor, cultivate and steward a variety of resources. Our pledge is to keep in mind that resources are simply a means to the end and not the end in and of themselves.

As we look forward to the road ahead with passion and purpose, the Youth Opportunity Center will continue to provide brighter futures for children and families for many years to come.

A summary of our strategic plan can be found here.

This story is an excerpt, as it appears in the2016 Annual Report. To view the full report click here.