"You build a foundation. You have your relationships within your organization, within city government, within county government, within human service agencies, with your parent groups, with your family resource centers." - Barbara, High Point Site
Achieving buy-in within your local United Way and with your partners means conveying how UWSF helps communities address the many difficulties children and families encounter. Your community partners are central to your success, as they will ultimately be the face of this work out in your community. Our pilot sites stressed the importance of focusing on the human connection and building relationships.
In the Overview, we discussed some of the many reasons United Ways should engage in UWSF and those ideas also apply here to partners and community agencies. UWSF emphasizes respect for families, collaboration, and solution-focused values for building community strengths through:
- Community Impact. Improves community impact including collaboration, positive parenting, and children capable of reaching their full potential;
- Community Mobilization. Asserts that families are best suited to identify and bring solutions to their own needs and improve their community's conditions. UWSF provides tools and support toward helping families identify their needs and mobilize solutions;
- Shared Responsibility. Unites local United Ways, community partners, and families in sharing the responsibility of creating stronger families and stronger communities;
- Research-based Concepts. Builds on strong research about what all families need to thrive;
- Respect for Families. Acknowledges families as critical to children's success through a strengths-based and prevention-focused approach emphasizing reciprocity; and
- Incorporation into Existing Work. Seamlessly applies to all areas of existing work-education, income, and health.