Learning to Adapt: Helping Agape Child & Family Services Use Rapid-Cycle Learning to Drive Equitable Change
Agape Child & Family Services
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for high-quality supports focused on families’ health, education, and employment needs. As service delivery organizations have worked to meet these needs, they have been stretched thin. The complex challenges these organizations faced have increased the need for them to engage partners across sectors, including research and philanthropy, to better support staff members and families. The Refining Virtual Services to Engage 2G Families project (REVISE 2G) emerged as one such partnership. The collaborative effort between Mathematica, Agape Child & Family Services (Agape), and the Annie E. Casey Foundation (Casey) aimed to help Agape, a place-based service provider in Memphis, Tennessee, strengthen its two-generation paradigm (2Gen) in the face of COVID-19 and the transition to virtual services. Through equity-focused capacity building, the partners helped 2Gen staff members address opportunity areas for two initiatives: Stars, a school-based mentoring initiative for youth, and TeamWorks, a coaching initiative to help adults meet their education and employment goals. The change efforts revealed key lessons for two-generation organizations, and their research and philanthropic partners, to consider when using rapid-cycle learning to enhance services for young people and their families.