TO: All Better Beginnings Project Staff Steering Committees and Community Members
FROM: Site Supervisor/Coordinator
The Better Beginnings, Better Futures Project is very complex with its multiple components. The Model requires community members, service providers and Project staff to work together as partners, to design, implement and evaluate all programs. Communities are asked to attempt methods of service delivery and integration of services which have never been tried before. The tasks are very challenging.
As Better Beginnings Communities you are treading new ground in service delivery. Therefore, there is little accumulated knowledge about how best to proceed with such things as community, collaborative integration. As a result of these challenges special supports are required to assist your Communities as they implement programs. One of the greatest resources available to you is the collective expertise among the Better Beginnings Communities. Every Community has a great deal or knowledge in some of the aspects important to Better Beginnings. BBNET/WEB provides a quick and efficient medium for sharing information and expertise.
BBNET/WEB was intended to be a user-friendly tool to link Communities together, to allow sharing of information re: programs, community issues and administration. It was hoped that being linked by BBNET/WEB would reduce the isolation experienced by Communities. It was also hoped that BBNET/WEB would be seen as a community development tool used to involve and empower community residents.
Many of us have been concerned that BBNET/WEB has not been as useful to Communities as was originally intended. Some of you have provided feedback and recommendations for change to Simon, and to me. It was recommended that the conferences be set up differently to allow people to more easily access the topics of most interest to them. Training for Project staff and Community Residents was also requested.
Based on your feedback we are proposing a few changes to BBNET/WEB which will hopefully allow more people from each site to access the system. Following the recommendations that came out of the Integration Quality Circle, we are proposing to set up conferences to match the categories used for the Economic Analysis. The conferences would include:
1. Home Visiting BB.Home
2. Child Focused Programs BB.Child
3. Parent/Family Focused Programs BB.Family
4. Community Focused Programs BB.Community
5. Community Healing BB.Healing
6. BB.Admin BB.Admin
7. BB.Children BB.Children
BB.Children would be used as a general discussion conference. BB.Admin would be opened up to include Project Coordinators as well as Office Coordinators.
In order to facilitate increased usage of BBNET/WEB, we would provide 2 or 3 days of training to 3 or 4 staff and community people from clusters of sites. This should ensure that each site has a few people to coach new users, lessening dependence on Office Coordinators. In addition the Administrative Assistant for Better Beginnings, will
be available for telephone support.
The proposed restructuring of the system and training will make it easier for people to use BBNET/WEB to suit individual needs and interests. No longer will it be necessary to read everything in the conference to get to what you are interested in reading. The level of exchange and May 10, 1993 quality of usage of the system should increase.
Please discuss the proposed restructuring and training among yourselves at each site, and provide feedback in BB.Children by May 31, 1993.