Our Roadmap takes us back to 2006 where The Stronger Families Alliance began as a joint initiative of Family and Community Services, Blue Mountains City Council and Mountains Community Resource Network. It shows us how The Alliance evolved to adopt a Collective Impact Strategy, a common agenda and a shared vision.
In 2017 The Alliance agreed on 4 areas of focus: Children, Young People, Parents/Carers, and the Community, and we have been working together on projects in these four areas.
We believe the best solutions to seemingly intractable social problems emerge when all those affected have a say in the design of answers. Periodically we take time to share what we have learnt, determine what to do with this knowledge, and what to do next.
The Alliance is one of the most established examples of a structured collaborative network in Australia, propelling social change from deep within Blue Mountains communities. From its inception in 2006, the Alliance has been guided by the five conditions of collective impact: a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication and backbone support.
Like other successful collective impact projects, the Alliance has a “backbone“ — a dedicated convener employed by the Blue Mountains City Council to develop and implement the new Child Youth and Family Plan and coordinate strategic planning.
Collective impact is put into practice using positive organisational development to unite members from disparate organisations. Strengths-based theory and other large-group processes are used to deepen understanding and create robust relationships.
Appreciative inquiry cements new professional affiliations, taking into account each person’s outlook, skills and knowledge. Leadership is also essential to change, especially in networks that become more complex over time. Facilitative leadership moves the Alliance partners forward, and collaborative leadership generates strong bonds and shared attitudes. Adaptive leadership promotes flexible thinking to achieve fast, lasting results.
We believe future generations will prosper with vibrant, child and youth friendly neighbourhoods and services that nurture wellbeing and resillience.
Alliance members harness the latest evidence about ways to solve complex child, family and community problems to improve outcomes for children and young people in the Blue Mountains.