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Mission And
Value Focus:

The primary purpose of your agency’s public
relations program is to support and further the attainment of your agency’s
mission. To the extent that it serves this purpose, your public relations
program is successful. To the extent to which it does not, the program is
inadequate and ineffectual. Looking at the Lorain County Children Services
(LCCS) mission and isolating the public relations directives it contains is

In partnership with the community, the staff,
volunteers, and foster parents of Lorain County Children Services are committed
to the safety and well-being of abused, neglected, and dependent children and
will provide the highest quality protection, permanency, and prevention
services for children and families.

this mission statement directs that LCCS public relations programming supports
and furthers a community partnership. Developing and fostering partnerships
with community groups and organizations are, thus, not optional. They are
required and are clearly the first order of business for public relations

Two points here need to be highlighted. The
agency does not intend to pursue its agenda or initiatives by itself. In fact,
the mission statement implies that initiatives that do not include the
participation of community partners should be avoided. This requires multiple
partnerships along with attention to the development of new, potentially
productive partnerships.

Additionally, successful partnerships are
always two-way streets. This means that public relations activities must support
and further the interests of the agency’s partners. An important implication of
this reciprocity is that the agency, and particularly its public relations
staff, will frequently be involved in activities that are not directly related
to child protection. They are, rather, in support of the priorities of the
agency’s partners.

Next, the mission statement directs that
staff, volunteers, and foster parents are key participants in supporting and
furthering the agency’s mission. Involving foster parents, for example, in the
public relations program is not optional. They are to be fully incorporated
into the program as partners.

Further, the mission statement directs that
public relations programming supports and furthers both the safety and well
being of abused, neglected, and dependent children. It is not enough to focus
on the children’s being safe. Their well being must receive equal
consideration. For example, this means that efforts to improve community
services, increase low income housing, decrease neighborhood violence, and
assure appropriate recreational opportunities for the children are not
optional. They directly affect child well-being and are clearly part of the
public relations directive.

Finally, agency public relations must support
continuously increasing the quality of services for children and families in
the community. Concurrently, those services must be available to and accessible
by the children and families served by the agency. Just as importantly, those
services must support and further child protection, permanence, and prevention
of abuse and neglect of children.

As you can see, what at first may seem to be
a simple mission statement is actually the primary action statement for the
agency and for its public relations program. The agency cannot attain its
mission’s outcomes without effectively and successfully fostering multiple and
varied relationships within the community. Public relations are not optional.
They are an essential ingredient for success. The agency will succeed or fail
based on, among other things, the strength of its public relations program.

Your public relations program success is, in
turn, strongly dependent on the support of internal and external individuals
and groups. Their support, in turn, rests on the strength of their support for
your agency’s mission. Unless they support the mission, they are unlikely to
support the outcomes directed by it. Without that support, the success of any
specific initiative is in jeopardy. Recognizing this public relations reality, carefully
consider these questions.

fully do your staff, volunteers, and foster families understand and support
your agency’s mission?

regular activities are in place to educate them about your agency’s mission and
to increase their support for the mission?

measures have been taken to assure community support for your agency’s mission?
For example, community participation in the development of the mission
statement would be one effective way of assuring community support.

The level of internal and external support
for your agency’s mission rests on the extent to which there is support for the
values that underpin that mission. Following a brief introductory statement,
here are LCCS’ guiding values. You will see that they are divided into three groups:
children, families, and community.

The LCCS Board has a simple philosophy that
directs the work of its staff and volunteers. They are expected to do the right
things right, the first time, on time, every time, one child at a time.
Combining this central expectation with our guiding values brings focus to our
work and to the community’s expectations for us.

Children should:

Have an
opportunity to be children and to grow up in a permanent family that is safe,
supportive, and committed to their welfare and well-being.

their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, and
spiritual nurturing met.

loved, valued, and respected.

Have a
strong sense of self-worth and personal esteem.

Have the
opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.

responsible and contributing members of the community.

respect for the community’s standards and laws.

Families should:

and pro-actively care for their children.

strong values, a clear sense of responsibility, and realistic expectations to
their children.

and be respected for their cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity.

themselves and be viewed as the basic foundation of the community.

violence-free, provide positive role models for their children, and have a
strong commitment to all their members.

equal access to the full range of community resources and services.

Have the
community’s respect and support.

respectful and supportive of the community.

Our community:

value its children and families as its most important resource.

its spiritual, economic, health care, human, and educational resources in all
its families and children.

and confront injustice.

and build on the strengths of all its members.

opportunities for all its members to participate in and contribute to its

value, and support the cultural diversity of all its members.

and collaboratively advocate for and respond to the needs of all its members.

the barriers that prevent children and families from reaching their full

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