News and Events

Great Leadership During COVID-19

Words fail us when trying to describe our distress about the magnitude of pandemic effects. Our clients have asked that we try to assemble and share resources available to organizations and families in this difficult time.

Also, as the world continues to turn and we search for the positive, we find ourselves awestruck by the innovations that are allowing people to continue to serve communities.

Examples of innovations are:

  • New Telehealth Service Models. The speed and care by which organizations have moved to provide early intervention and therapeutic services via telehealth is amazing. We also appreciate the State’s help in removing roadblocks such as the option to bill for tele–interpretation services.  
  • Improved Access to Wi-Fi. Almost 300 new drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots are coming on line across the state as part of the effort to make broadband Internet accessible to all Washington residents (per Senate Bill 5511). A map of locations will be updated as more sites are available. This is done in recognition that broadband access enhances public health and safety, while providing economic opportunities.
  • Responsive Partnerships. Organizations are harnessing the power of the internet to go virtual to provide information to caregivers and families with on-line town halls about ways to talk with children about the epidemic and to support family mental health through this hugely challenging time. 
  • Mental Health. Organizations are harnessing the power of the internet to go virtual to provide information to caregivers and families with on-line town halls about ways to talk with children about the epidemic and to support family mental health through this hugely challenging time. 
  • Conceptual and Policy Transformation. Child care providers and advocates, alongside state and national leaders are working to sustain providers through the crisis and to use this as an opportunity for reinvention building on Reinvent vs. Rebuild ideas from Louise Stoney at the Opportunities Exchange. Others are exploring ways to leverage big data and technology to support private forest landowners as they sustainably manage their lands.

The common thread through all of these great innovations is leadership. Our coaching clients often ask for tools to hone their skills and to help them manage and mentor new leaders. As this tough situation endures, they’ve asked that we share tools that can help to lead and model the adaptive leadership required now. We thought these resources might be useful to you as well.

We are grateful to all of you who are stepping up and doubling down, who are lending a helping hand to others, and who are stretching the limits of creativity to make some long-lasting good come from this catastrophe.

Virtual Interaction - But Real Results

As this COVID-19 pandemic interrupts and transforms how agencies service clients, how funders support work, and how coalitions explore and make decisions about how to move issues forward, many of us are pressed to keep things moving.

In our past work with you, we have tried to always be a trusted source of support. Our desire to see your work continue in this tough situation endures and we wanted to share some free help where we can.

We know it can be challenging to quickly change routines, prepare logistics of working virtually, train people to use new tools, and structure conversations to approximate our past in-person interactions. Fortunately, many online collaboration tools make this easier than ever.

Because we have used Zoom and other platforms for online collaboration for many years, we thought that the attached tip sheets might be helpful to you:

·      Using Zoom for Virtual Meetings

·      Using Zoom to Share Your Thinking

We hope that these tips might help you to get started quickly and minimize lost time driving toward your goals. We will also be developing additional tip sheets geared for meeting hosts to cover Zoom logistics as well as meeting planning ideas that can help you replace in-person interactions with successful and engaging virtual meetings. If you are stumped about a particular situation, please feel free to reach out to pick our brains as always.

We also hope that you are connecting to sources of information about supports that can help human service organizations moving.

We continue to be appreciative and humbled by your continued efforts to create a better world.

Stronger Pathways to Integrate Preschool

To help child care providers prepare to offer ECEAP services integrated within their current curriculum, the Department of Early Learning, ESD 112, and Community Minded Enterprises are working with Child Care Aware of Washington and a group of stakeholders to develop training and technical assistance supports that augment those already provided through Early Achievers.

In addition to separate pilots in Spokane (in which SEIU is working with four family child care homes with SEIU as the ECEAP contractor) and in Pierce/King Counties (where PSESD is working with three family child care homes as subcontractors), this project will pilot intensive supports for ten or more providers to provide ECEAP servcies through an affiliation with other child care homes/centers (piloted in Northeast Washington), or as a subcontractor to an existing contractor (piloted in Southwest Washington).

The pilot's specific goals are to:

  * Research business models and articulate contractor, subcontractor and affiliated contractor roles

  * Understand what child care providers need to successfully implement ECEAP

  * Review current tools to develop a Child Care Provider ECEAP Readiness Toolkit

  * Implement a successful pilot in the two regions and prepare to expand the pilot if/as refined

Dovetailing is pleased to be facilitating advisory group meetings as this important work proceeds.

Read the DEL Fact Sheet


States Work to Integrate Their Home Visiting Services

We recently participated in a regional Technical Assistance Coordinating Center (TACC) forum for the states in the Midwest (Region V) and Southeast (Region IV) that are expanding home visiting programs with federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grants. Home visiting and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant leaders in these states (Alabama, Florida,  Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin) and tribal nations work closely with regional directors of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Zero to Three TACC staff and their many local partners to expand access to evidence-based home visiting programs in their states.

The three-day forum entitled "Connect, Collaborate, Integrate" centered on strengthening integration of home visiting with other maternal and child health and early learning services and systems. State leaders started the forum with engaging presentations on the unique characteristics of their state. It was great to see these cross-state leaders sharing unique local challenges and successes with their peers.

After a thoughtful satellite discussion with Dr. David Willis (HRSA Director of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems), Dovetailing presented “Creating the Conditions for System Integration,” focused on system-building and planning strategies (with our Purposeful Engagement Approach, Continuum of Home Visiting Preparedness and Strength and Rural Home Visiting Theory of Action as examples) and use of system expansion levers, such as development of standards and coordinated professional development. The whole group then had an energizing problem-solving session, thinking about levers that individual states could use to create the conditions for system integration despite apparent obstacles.

We are pleased to work with these wise, passionate and determined champions for vulnerable families.

Partners Unite to Help All Washington Children Grow!

The Focus & Momentum Team that guides the direction of the Universal Developmental Screening Partnership and the key partners in Help Me Grow Washington have recently decided to join these efforts.

Building on the name and brand of Help Me Grow Washington, this unified collective impact initiative brings together the energy and momentum of both to ensure all families in Washington are reached with developmental screening and responsive services are provided so that each child in Washington has a chance for success. The new Help Me Grow Washington Partnership will integrate the work of each of these efforts. The Department of Health will continue to provide key coordination and Within Reach will continue to serve as the state Help Me Grow affiliate and central access point. The UDS Focus & Momentum Team will set direction through a Common Agenda and be accountable for the overall work. Existing UDS action teams will channel the energy and action of partners. The many partners of these efforts see this as an exciting opporuntity to:

  • Strengthen focus and momentum  
  • Build on the well-known Help Me Grow national brand, which uses language that is accessible to families
  • Draw on key support of Department of Health, Department of Early Learning, Office of Superintendent, Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Within Reach, and other local and state public, philanthropic and social sector partners
  • Increase our ability to create "no wrong door" for families by strengthening connections among health care providers, early learning providers and central access points like Within Reach’s online, telephone and in-person access to developmental screening, referral and follow-up services
Four Action Teams (focused on: reaching all families; providing responsive supports; strengthening systems and connections; and improving policy, practice and funding) continue to build momentum for this important work. Read more about this exiciting initiative.
Dovetailing is pleased and excited to have supported the evolution of these initiatives and looks forward to participating in their increasing momentum. 

Helping All Washington Children to Grow and Learn

Universal Developmental Screening (UDS) Partnership: Moving to a Collective Impact Approach

Washington is fortunate to have many leaders at all levels of the health and early learning systems that are passionately advancing the goal of a truly universal developmental screening (UDS) system in Washington. UDS partners have advanced the work piece by piece with available funding. To increase and sustain the effort needed to achieve our goal of a universal system, the Department of Health and its partners secured a federal Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant to implement a Collective Impact approach to the work. (See collective impact infrastructure column below.) This Collective Impact approach provides a framework for partners to take aligned actions toward a common goal. It also provides a structure for many new partners to join and accelerate action.

To realize this opportunity, the initiative has engaged Dovetailing Consulting to facilitate a re-visioning process (between now and September) using the five elements of the flexible Collective Impact approach. Existing governing and advisory bodies will be engaged in deliberation about what this new approach means and how we can most efficiently and effectively accelerate action and attract additional partners and resources to this important work.

What’s Next?

The June 12th UDS Partnership Group meeting will focus on re-visioning our initiative structure to align with the collective impact approach. Participants will have the opportunity to consider where their work, passion and expertise fit in the new structure. The meeting will also provide opportunities for small group work around Help Me Grow, Great MINDS and other initiatives.

Ways to Be Involved

  • Stay up-to-date by signing up to receive the Universal Developmental Screening E-Newsletter
  • Spread the word about the Partnership and its initiatives
  • Volunteer to participate in a work group where your skills and passion can be tapped
  • Provide leadership to raise funds, set strategic direction and deploy resources in the Steering 


Oregon Early Learning Strategy

Oregon policymakers have decided that the best opportunity for distinction and success in the global economy of the 21st century is for Oregon to create a world-class education system that starts early and produces results. As a result, the state adopted an ambitious 40-40-20 goal and is dramatically transforming the way the education system does its work. 

Data from Oregon’s statewide Kindergarten Assessment show that Oregon must take bold action to address achievement gaps that have their roots in limited opportunities for access to high quality early care and education experiences. Consider the situation for Oregon children:

  • Early literacy: 33% of entering kindergarteners could name five or fewer letters and 14% could not name a single letter. Additionally, 37% of the state’s entering kindergarteners could not identify a single letter sound.
  • Early math: 53% of entering kindergartners answered at least half the questions correctly. However, only 43% of African American and Native American students, and 38% of Hispanic students answered at least half of the questions correctly.
  • Approaches to learning: Based on teacher observation, approximately 25% of entering kindergartners did not regularly complete skills such as completing tasks or following directions. Research indicates that a child’s ability to self-regulate is predictive of future reading and math achievement.

Since Oregon’s disjointed approach to early learning and care has not yielded the results necessary to prepare children for school, over the past three years the Legislature, the Early Learning Council and communities across the state have engaged in a significant reform effort to build a more coordinated system and to achieve higher levels of school readiness. Authority and responsibility for early childhood policy, planning and system development has been centralized under the Early Learning Council and new regional hubs will have greater flexibility and accountability for improving results for children and families.

Dovetailing is working with the Early Learning Council to coalesce the many diverse initiatives under a Master Strategy intended as a tool for the Early Learning Council to plan and rack past, current and potential future directions for the Council’s work. The Master Strategy will serve as an important guide to review and refine strategy annually based upon what learning and accountability measures show are the results each year. The companion Scorecard will include important indicators that can provide a view of Oregon's success at-a-glance.

Rural Communities Implement Strong Home Visiting Programs

Dovetailing has just completed work with partners at Thrive by Five Washington and three rural Washington counties to start strong evidence-based home visiting programs funded by the Washington Home Visiting Services Account. The project drew on community wisdom to assess local interest, and "fit" of the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) or Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting models with community needs. Each community determined that the PAT program was a fit for their current needs.

Dovetailing and Thrive by Five's "implementation hub team" facilitated community processes to identify ways to overcome challenges rural communities often face, such as low population density and community infrastructure.  The approach supported community consideration of important implementation questions, and helped each community to endorse a strong lead agency that could get the new programs off to a strong start. In one county the new program reached full enrollment in just two and a half months!

The process confirmed some long-held lessons about how funders and system designers can support local action and implementation of human service programs. It also revealed some new and innovtative ways to support community preparedness and strength in doing so. Those Lessons Learned are already being put into action by Thrive by Five Washington as they revise grantmaking processes.

Read the full project report, Supporting the Growth of Home Visiting in Washington State, which details the processes used and includes tools developed to help other communities that seek to "front-load" important deliberations and decisions as grant opportunities arise and continue to strengthen programs over time. Go Adams, Grays Harbor and Okanogan counties!

2014 Independent Sector Conference in Seattle

Independent Sector, the leading national network of philanthropists has chosen to hold their 2014 national conference in Seattle next November.  The conference will include pre-conferece sessions for policy advocates and emerging leaders.  Keep an eye out for more details on this important philanthropy convening!

Check back for more details about the speakers and agenda in the next few weeks or visit the Independent Sector website to watch videos of selected 2013 speakers.

City of Seattle Takes Steps to Create Preschool for All

The Seattle City Council has just taken significant steps to develop a Preschool for All program for children in the City of Seattle. The Council has recently allocated funding to support development and implementation of program standards (building on the important Washington Preschool Program report Dovetailing facilitated in 2011) and strengthening of professional development preparation.

Learn more about this exciting development for young children and their families: Preschool for All!