Over the next three years, ECS is shifting all work to economic mobility outcomes for people in our programs. That means we are tracking our own success by how much we are able to help them achieve their goals and improve their lives.
The Path to Prosperity Model is our approach to ensuring that every person in our programs can identify what they need and achieve their goals. It reflects our commitment to working with people to chart their own paths to success.
We may be giving it a new name, but this way of working has evolved along with our work, encompassing values and components that have always been with us while leveraging the very best new practices in the field of social service.
The Prosperity Model includes ECS’ approach to:
This research-based case management practice was designed by our partners at EMPath in Boston. Developed over a decade, Mobility Mentoring® is “the professional practice of partnering with individuals and families so they may acquire the resources, skills, and sustained life changes necessary to attain and preserve their economic independence.” Mobility Mentoring uses coaching, incentives, goal setting, and a tool called the Bridge to Self Sufficiency® to walk people through the achievement of their goals.
Navigating the System
Having worked extensively with low-income and vulnerable families in Philadelphia, ECS knows that many people end up relying on multiple systems for their housing, education, workforce development, and even meals—almost all of which are offered in an uncoordinated way. To help people walk their path of economic mobility, we start with each individual person in our program. By starting with their goals—for themselves, for their families—each person can start to see how their needs relate to one another, and identify the very best services that can help them move forward with their lives.
Feedback Drives Quality
The people and families in our programs are experts in what they need, and experts on what we can do to be a resource. We rely on qualitative and quantitative data and anecdotes that inform program improvements. We also use what our participants tell us about their needs to inform our advocacy work and achieve the systems change we know is necessary.
By definition, a strong partnership means the neither party could have done as well on their own. That’s why ECS believes in, and relies on, a diversity of ideas and perspectives. We are in community with participants, staff and board, volunteers, peer agencies, and stakeholders—all of whom partner with us carry out our mission to challenge and reduce poverty. There is no shortage on problem to be solved: to make an impact on poverty we must work together.
We mirror these commitments at every level on the organization—be it program design, talent development, or agency leadership. For people who are familiar with our work, you know that much of this builds on where we have been.
As we continue to build this model out, through our new strategic plan, we believe that we will be able to see meaningful, sustainable change in people’s lives and in our community.