As part of the evaluation of the application of Pascale Sykes’ Whole Family Approach (WFA), the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs (WRI) explored the flexibility of the WFA by zooming in on the cultural responsiveness of the social service agency collectives (Collaboratives) working with Hispanic, immigrant families in Southern New Jersey.
WRI coordinated with Families in Motion, Stronger Families, Unidos Para la Familia, and Families to College, to identify Hispanic, immigrant families to participate in semi-structured phone interviews about their experiences with barriers, supports, and goal achievement. Staff from each Collaborative also participated in interviews about their service delivery, goal-setting strategies, systemic barriers, and supporting families on their journey. All participants were compensated with a gift card. Participants had the option to speak English, Spanish, or a combination of both during interviews. WRI staff translated all transcripts to English and identified themes through open-theme coding and team discussion.
Connecting with Families
The Collaboratives’ reputation and quality of service often spread via word-of-mouth.
The most common goals reported were learning English, completing secondary education, increasing income, starting a business, owning a home, and providing children with opportunities for education and
Families were more likely to act independently once they gained familiarity with a process or system.
The agencies that made up each Collaborative worked together to organize programming and community events such as food and nutrition workshops, financial planning courses, and information sessions on new policies and resources.