Passages’ mission is to foster/drive positive change for families by stabilizing, supporting, and empowering families to be successful through parenting skills/workforce development training, case management, and access to resources to obtain employment and a healthy family life.
The Saint Luke's Foundation has funded Passages’ Jobs for Dads and Moms program since 2013 because it incorporates a multi-pronged focus on workforce readiness and placement, parenting support, and linkages to needed social supports, aligning with the Foundation’s financial stability and social connections strategies. Additionally, the Building Futures pilot program aims to provide skills training in the building trades through a paid pre-apprenticeship rehabilitating houses, targeting SLF neighborhoods, and has the potential to address the Foundation’s current priority to eliminate residential blight.
The Jobs for Dads and Moms (JFDM) program provides referrals to social supports and serves over 300 people annually. Their increasing program completion rates have led to positive employment outcomes with full-time jobs in manufacturing, hospitality, retail, and construction. The average hourly wage that program graduates have earned have also increased over time. Their additional focus on parenting is also helping clients to grow in areas such as family resilience and accessing basic needs and essential services.
In 2014, Passages started using the Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) platform to improve data collection, better understand their population, and drive programming to positively impact Passages' clients. This led them to revise their tracking and data entry procedures to better meet placement and retention goals and then to implement a new protocol requiring the case management team to meet monthly to evaluate data and discuss program processes and client successes. These discussions have led to program and process changes to positively impact Passages’ clients. For example, the staff recognized a flaw in their enrollment processes, so they re-tooled to differentiate between clients who only had questions or needed referrals to other programs such as child support, custody, legal help, or GED support, and those who needed an orientation session to consider their readiness for more intensive services. Passages has been able to identify when their data collection processes are not effective, which led to the implementation of a new pre- and post-assessment methodology that better reflect clients’ experience with positive parenting and their subsequent increase in knowledge.
Passages' interest in data collection and analysis helped them identify important partnerships. Most of their clients face significant barriers such as low educational attainment, criminal backgrounds, no work history, lack of reliable transportation, and childcare issues. Through data collection and analysis they recognized that one of the biggest roadblocks to living wage employment for their clients is a lack of education. In 2015, they began a relationship with College Now to help guide clients into postsecondary credentialing programs, but then realized that their clients are not ready to enter postsecondary education. So, Passages furthered its relationship with Seeds of Literacy as a partner in providing their clients the programming necessary to obtain GED certificates. They enhanced programming in 2017 by implementing the Building Futures program as a part of JFDM to significantly increase the employability and living wage potential of their clients. In the first year, 100% of participants were employed within 30 days of program completion. As the JFDM program continues to develop, Passages has begun to understand that trauma impacts their clients’ long-term success and continues learning how to identify trauma and what resources are necessary to help them.
Passages’ consistent focus on improving outcomes, programs, and processes has and will continue to improve much needed services to people who need them. Vital partnerships that have enabled their clients to be better positioned for success have been brought about through evaluation of their programs.
Passage's Jobs for Dads and Moms program is a vital and evolving cornerstone of ending cycles of generational poverty and incarceration for disadvantaged, low-income individuals and in developing sustainable, stable, and resilient families through the implementation of evidence based, supportive, and life changing programming.
Dr. Brian Moore, Dr. Brian Moore, CEO, Passages