What if changemakers and stakeholders within systems were able to better understand the stages in the Cycle of Disfunction with Equity Work and counter with methods to push back on the reinforcing loop? Here is how I envision disrupting this cycle at each stage.
Developing a policy agenda is normally a combination of looking back and looking to the future. But a mentor recently asked me three questions that have challenged me to take a different approach to crafting my agenda and to think bigger and bolder about the change we can lead for Iowa’s kids. Here are those three questions and how I’m thinking through them.
Having a safe and stable home is the foundation to one’s ability to thrive, especially in today’s pandemic, and it’s critical to a child’s healthy development. Yet about 5,100 individuals are served in central Iowa’s homeless system in one year and advocates working to address homelessness expect those numbers to increase. To support families in overcoming tremendous difficulties and maintaining their well-being, we must more deeply understand what is happening, so we can think creatively and collaboratively about how to respond. HealthConnect Fellow Angie Arthur, executive director of Polk County Continuum of Care, shares these four things you should know about homelessness in Central Iowa right now.
Advocates working to shift systems often face immense challenges: limited time, limited resources, too many roles, not enough influence. And in uncertain times like these, the challenges we’re working to address may seem so insurmountable that the idea of creating any kind of change feels impossible. These are the moments when we especially need to pause and recognize what we are accomplishing. Collectively, these wins add up to significant change, even if we don’t immediately recognize it. In the spirit of honoring our wins, we’ve compiled just a few examples of what the HealthConnect Fellows have achieved over the past few months. These achievements also highlight what system change can look like and the impact it has on the well-being of our children.
Prior to our trip I was exhausted and burned out, mostly from frustration about our country's tangled systems, but I’m now realizing there was something more underneath it all. My pattern is to try and pull lessons out of experiences when I start to feel overwhelmed, so here is what I've pulled out during my break away from Iowa.