Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries wins regional award for operations

Lancaster, Pa. (Thursday March 9, 2017)

Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries today received the Central Penn Business Journal’s 2017 Nonprofit Innovation Award in the category of management operations.

The award recognizes the organization’s success following its creation as a separate Diakon entity in 2014. The award nomination focused on Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries’ success in terms of programmatic expansion, growth of service to people in need, financial stability and continuing development of objective outcome metrics.

In its efforts, it has become a model for other organizations interested in establishing objective metrics to measure success of programs in changing people’s lives, says Shari VanderGast, senior vice president for business development and operations of Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries.

“This award recognizes the hard work and dedication of all of our Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries staff members, who have worked diligently to expand services, measure results and develop new and innovative ways to aid children, youth, families and adults of all ages,” she says.

Among just a few of the results cited in the award nomination:

  • Despite the growing challenges in recruiting foster and adoption families to meet the needs of today’s children and older youths, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care has experienced growth in its family-recruitment activities. 
  • Diakon Family Life Services counseling and behavioral health care in central Pennsylvania experienced a 13.6% increase in number of people served between 2014 and 2015.
  • Diakon Youth Services showed a 62.6% increase in the overall number of youths and members of community organizations it served through its various programs, again comparing 2014 to 2015.
  • Numerous steps were taken to replicate successful programs from one region or county to another, following the creation of DCFCM. 
  • Programs shifted time and resources to the collection and sharing of outcomes data agency-wide.
  • Programs shared this type of outcomes data with stakeholders, such as the public, funders, consumers and families. In response, one county and one foundation indicated that positive outcomes were a determining factor in awards of a new program and new grant funding.
  • DCFCM programs decreased client wait times and increased productivity through creation of program-specific performance improvement initiatives.

Present for the awards ceremony were, left to right, William Swanger, Diakon Corporate Communications; Denise Roe and Joyce Riche, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care; Shari VanderGast, senior vice president for Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries; Mark Pile, Diakon president/CEO; Karen Wood, Diakon Community Services; and Tanisha Negron-Bailey, Diakon Youth Services.


For further information, please contact:
William Swanger, M.A., APR
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries
(717) 795-0308
E-mail: swangerb@diakon.org

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