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My First Place™ Program and Training Manuals

Summary

First Place supports current and former foster youth, all of whom are at risk for homelessness, undereducation, unemployment, and living in poverty. First Place runs a variety of programs across six California counties; their flagship program, My First Place, is an education and employment program that provides access to safe, stable homes so that foster youth have the stability they need to focus on achieving their education and employment goals.

The Question: How could First Place provide the training and curricula needed to successfully implement the My First Place model?

First Place is now partnering with organizations across the country to launch My First Place affiliate programs. These affiliate programs, housed within local agencies, will replicate the My First Place model. First Place was seeking to consolidate their new staff training curricula into a manual they could share with affiliates in other states.

The Process: Creating a program and training manual

Over the course of several months, Public Profit reviewed, consolidated, and updated First Place’s existing curricula for new staff. As part of this process, we spoke with a range of leadership staff to capture the full range of staff training and helped First Place identify and update outdated curricula. We also helped First Place distinguish the essential elements required for all My First Place affiliates and highlighted those elements that are optional.

Public Profit helped develop two manuals. The program manual, updated for the first time in years, clarifies the current program model, defines the program’s guiding principles and philosophy, and identifies the essential structures and activities of the My First Place program. The training manual consolidates and updates the extensive training undertaken by new staff to understand the program model, shadow veteran staff, and start to apply their skills in the first month of their work with My First Place. Public Profit also conducted a literature review of online staff training platforms, providing a recommendation for how First Place could ensure elements of the training were available online across affiliates.

The Outcome: Replication and further learning

First Place is already using the manual with other agencies across the country as they develop their affiliate programs. As a result of the work with Public Profit, First Place is investigating learning management systems and online staff training with the end goal of converting the training manual to an online system.

We consolidated ideas for how to replicate successful programs, including the need for guiding principles and how to distinguish what is essential from what is not in our Training and Replication Coffee Break Webinar.

First Place For Youth

The mission of First Place for Youth™ is to help foster kids build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood so that the disparities between them and their non-foster care peers are eliminated. First Place will be a national leader in building the evidence to support this drive and in increasing awareness, changing perceptions and building a movement to make it happen.