2017 Annual Message
Even the least news-obsessed among us are well aware that there will be no quick fixes to Connecticut’s budgeting challenges so the effect on Child & Family Agency’s fiscal health is likely to continue for at least several years to come. The fortunes of the private, non-profit human services sector and the health of Connecticut’s business sector are intertwined. It is clear that only an all-sector-inclusive economic recovery “tide” will raise all ships. This is not a zero-sum game, and it’s not a sprint – it’s a marathon.
Given the forecasted length and difficulty of this journey, it’s worth reflecting on where our strength comes from for this marathon – the informed intelligence to choose the best path forward, and the fortitude to keep going. The answer is simple and obvious, and yet we often forget or doubt it: the strength comes from within each of us. The alternative belief would put us in a world in which we are hopelessly and endlessly dependent upon circumstances and others for the strength upon which our success – with anything – depends.
Now this does not mean that we do it alone. Our individual strengths, competencies and spirit can be fueled, inspired and multiplied by our relationships , or smothered down to the faintest ember by lack of nurturing, forces that would push us down, failures to partner, or even by the well-intentioned efforts of others to help us, but with an embedded message that we are inadequate. This connecting happens on every level, from the hour-to-hour provision of services to CFA’s clients, to the daily in-house collaboration of our program teams, to our staff-Board-auxiliaries partnering, to our external linkages with our referral, funding, and other private, non-profit providers, to our large system-level partnerships with the business sector and government.
It’s no accident that our deepening belief regarding the locus of strength led to this year’s joint Board-staff project to revise Child & Family Agency’s Mission Statement. This new statement makes clear that we hold a bedrock belief that the strength we need lies within each of us – clients, staff, volunteers, Board, auxiliaries, community partners – all of us alike – vs. our needing it to be injected from outside; and that our mission is as simple to conceptualize as it is challenging to implement: to do everything possible to create the environment and opportunity for strengths to be realized:
Child & Family Agency: Nurturing children and families to develop their strengths.
-Service -Partnership -Advocacy
We do so by offering up the full measure of what each of us brings to the table. Everything we need is in each of us, and in the magical combination of all of us.
We close with the words of this traditional activist folk song:
Step by step the longest march can be won, can be won.
Many stones can form an arch, singly none, singly none,
And by union what we will can be accomplished still.
Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none.
Rick Calvert, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. Harry Ferguson
Chief Executive Officer Board ChairSee the Report