The Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ) has experienced several organizational transitions over the past 2 years. With the structural, operational and cultural shifts underway, NYC CS executives identified the importance of organizational alignment as a key intervention for LTG to create for their staff.
The DYFJ executive leadership chose the Secure Detention unit as a starting point for this intervention. With so much change underway, executives wanted to both support staff in the realignment while deepening both their confidence and competence in key skill areas tied to communication, conflict resolution, and role clarity.
The initial professional development work began with LTG conducting a training assessment with the purpose of determining staff's perceived training needs. Executives, Mid-Level Management and Direct Care all weighed in on what the division needed most. The result was a multi-layered training program conducted by master trainer and consultant Dr. Clarice Bailey and LTG partner Liz Laboy in three phases:
Executive Leadership Training of DYFJ for 10 weeks, which ran from September 29th and ending on December 15, 2011. This team of executives met to establish a community of practice for themselves and for their subordinates. The themes for the training were Self Mastery (Mindful Practice, Building Shared Vision, mental Models, Systems, Team Learning Effective Dialogue, Quality of Service and Endings and New Beginnings.
This group of Mid-level managers also worked within the simulation of Tops, Middles and Bottoms so that they learned the bases of their own influence as well as the constraints and opportunities at every level of their organization.
Direct Care Staff. There will be 2 cohorts of 50 Direct Care Staff trained beginning at the end of September and ending March of 2013. This training will consist of:
LTG facilitated a dynamic Leadership Forum with the Division of Family Support Services (FSS), working with the supervisors as the division underwent significant changes in its operation structure. The Project director Tula Lacy requested this training to address the specific skill needs including: Communication, Leadership Transitions (such as Leadership from Within) creating legacy for others to emulate.
The training day, facilitated dynamically by Master Trainer and Consultant Gloria Fontanez, developed including setting the tone, creating legacy, leadership from within and had high team play. The environment was based on promoting a relaxed atmosphere for the purpose of creating and support sharing.
The participants brought enthusiastic energy, eagerness and generosity of knowledge and experience throughout the training session. Each individual brought a specific skill (intuitiveness, open-mindedness, positive reinforcement, insight, summary skills, spiritually based visions and concise framing), allowing the successful process of the day by setting the tone.
At various times of the day the participants were led in a playful session of creating (using construction paper, water colors, glue, lollipop sticks, glitter and crayons), a vision of how the work of FSS is manifested in the partnering efforts of all stakeholders e.g. provider agencies and the community, to make possible the ongoing work of the division. The participants had fun and created some elaborate art work for them to show back at the office.
Testimony to the seriousness with which the participants entered the day, was shown by the laughter and sense of camaraderie at the end of the day. Each staff member brings a love for the work and the devotion in believing in change as manifested within the agencies and families they work with.