McCarthy Promotes Public System Reforms in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Posted February 20, 2014, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Patrick McCarthy, Casey Foundation president and CEO, wrote on the importance of working with public systems to scale solutions for children and families in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). Grantmakers for Effective Organizations sponsored this special SSIR supplement, entitled "Smarter Philanthropy for Greater Impact." McCarthy featured with 10 other though leaders on how philanthropy can scale what works in addressing social challenges.

In his article, McCarthy notes the critical dependency of social programs on public systems. In order for a good program to succeed, it needs a strong public system to support it.

Whether programs focus on youths involved in the juvenile justice system, students in public schools, families in the child welfare system, or young mothers receiving public health services, even the greatest programs cannot succeed in a lasting way if they depend on dysfunctional systems. Programs can sink or swim, depending on how systems handle issues from intake, eligibility, and case planning to the selection and compensation of private providers.

He notes the success of the Foundation's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Intitiative, and contributes some of that success to the strong collaborations with actors in the system, including the courts and probation officers.

Other contributors included the president of Daniel Cardinali, president of Communities In Schools; Dr. Robert K. Koss, president and CEO of the California Endowment; and Nancy Roob, president and CEO of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

Read McCarthy's article: The Road to Scale Runs Through Public Systems