McCarthy Promotes Public System Reforms in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Posted February 20, 2014

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

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