Policy & Practice | Spring 2023

human centered, and community driven.

Advancing a Community Driven Framework These insights captured here reflect the invaluable experiences of public-sector leaders that are helping advance the future of human services. Though human services leaders acknowledge there are many challenges to the aspiration of a com munity-driven approach, they also believe it is foundational to advancing our shared vision and seek opportuni ties for making it a reality. At APHSA, we are inspired to work alongside all of you to cultivate service delivery systems that are truly equitable,

n Create opportunities to fund commu nity-led ideas and demonstrations.

Accountability is also achieved by putting into place continuous feedback loops that allow leaders to standardize the need to act on feedback and share it with the community that is pro viding the feedback. Systems “rooted in community organizing,” as one state leader put it, is a significant step toward being community-driven. This means adopting a new leadership frame work across the human services sector (public and community-based) grounded in being community led.

Reference Note 1. For purposes of this article, structural power is defined as the way power and decision-making authority are related between governmental institutions and the people those institutions are intended to serve. See The Catalyst Blog—Three Part Series on Shifting Structural Power at https://bit.ly/37VZZdA.

staff spotlight

Name: Adrian Saldaña Title: Organizational Effectiveness (OE) Consultant Time at APHSA: I joined APHSA in May 2022. Life Before APHSA: First things first, I was born and raised in Houston, and I’m a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Hook ’em Horns! But before joining APHSA, I worked at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in roles such as child welfare training evalu ator and technical assistance director. One of my proudest accomplishments was serving as the Agency Chief Restart Officer, coordinating ACS’s adherence to citywide COVID-19 guidelines and protocols during a time of incredible uncer tainty. The experience deepened my understanding of public administration and adaptive leadership in times of crisis. It also indirectly led to my attendance of APHSA’s 2021 ISM Conference as an Emerging Leader. You never know what comes out of the connections you make at an APHSA conference! Priorities at APHSA: I develop OE learning products, such as toolkits and eLearning courses, which are now avail able on our new THRIVE learning management system (see https://thrive.matrixlms.com) . I also coordinate our Peer Learning webinar series that highlights the work of our state and local members. It gives me a front-row seat to rich con versations around how OE best practices are being applied around the country to maximize organizational performance.

Another rewarding aspect of my role is facilitating member communities, such as an Advancing Family Economic Mobility (AFEM) learning community and our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) Peer Community. I am continuously inspired by all the important and innovative ways that human services leaders are transforming the sector through an equity lens to put families first. I also participate in our internal Data Metrics workgroup, which is comprised of APHSA staff expanding our internal capacity to measure our impact and tell our stories through data. What I Can Do for Our Members: I can facili tate change management conversations with diverse sets of members, partners, and more. Our OE practice draws from APHSA’s DAPIM™ continuous improvement framework, and the Human Services Value Curve, which prioritizes com munity voice in service co-design for generative, sustainable impact. Every OE project is customized to meet the needs of our members and tailored to their specific circumstances, so more than anything else, I can listen to understand. Best Way to Reach Me: Email me at asaldana@ aphsa.org or find me on LinkedIn. When Not Working: I am exploring my new home base of Los Angeles, California. And listening to the Grateful Dead. Motto to Live By: “Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.” —Thomas Merton

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