We’ve closed out another wonderful year at PRA and are well on our way to an exciting 2017—our 29th year of operation (can you believe the big 3-0 is next year?). While the New Year has come and gone, we’d like to reflect on the year past and the year ahead.
At our annual State of the Firm this December, Pam encouraged us to submit ideas for PRA’s annual Word of the Year. As always, there were some great guesses, including perspicuous, which a few of us had to look up! The 2016 Word of the Year was revealed to be sound—in our projects, staff, and culture.
This past year has been an exciting one for PRA. We welcomed new staff members and project awards while developing a leadership team to guide PRA into its next 30 years of operation. Here are some of our highlights:
We’ve had another successful year of growth! With our re-award of the GAINS Center contract, we will be able to continue expanding access to services for people with mental and/or substance use disorders who come into contact with the justice system as we have done for the past 21 years. While we are winding down the DDP Small Grant Program, we are welcoming the ARDRAW Small Grant Program, which will provide for an expanded scope of disability and rehabilitation research. We are also expanding our research work with the NIJ Comprehensive School Safety Initiative—stay tuned to hear more about the project roll-out!
Positive Social Change
Our mission is to create positive social change and we are proud to say that we have been able to positively impact many individuals, communities, and states in 2016. For just a slice of our impact, consider the 4,868 individuals who were helped through the SOAR process in 2016 and the 21 trainings we delivered as part of our fee-for-service work.
We’re experts at strategic planning, so it is only natural that we would apply some of our training methodology to our own internal processes! We’ve spent a large part of this year developing and establishing a new organizational structure to set us up for success in the years to come. This year, we have created a leadership team, transitioned our divisions to areas to expand project and managerial scope, and expanded our senior staff to keep our work on the cutting edge for years to come.
We are well into 2017 and have a lot to look forward to over the coming months! Some of the highlights include:
We are dedicated to breaking down silos and introducing folks in the field to all of the great work we are doing across our projects. We’re inviting project staff from different areas to meetings to see how we can improve processes, providing technical assistance to communities through cross-project referrals, sharing opportunities across projects and platforms, and coming together in staff seminars to discuss how we can improve further!
We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our communities. In 2017, we are once again expanding and redefining our Policy Academy model through adjustments to our Virtual Implementation Academies and Leadership Academies. We are also developing a Design Institute, in which participants will design effective collaborations to promote systems change.
Scope of Work Expansion
We are expanding our reach this year both in the scope of our work and the populations we serve. We’re broadening our youth work to include school safety, youth homelessness, and child welfare. This year, we are partnering with Public Catalyst on new child welfare court monitoring contracts to improve the wellbeing and safety of youth who are in the foster care system in Michigan and Mississippi.
We are proud to be staffed with well staff and are continually looking for ways to enhance our staff’s wellness. Some of the tasks we are tackling include expanding our staff luncheons (our first was a flight of soups!), updating our office furniture, and engaging with staff to start conversations about company culture.
We know that 2017 will be another year of growth and (positive social) change, and we are excited to celebrate our success with you. Interested in learning more? View our 2016 Year in Review PowerPoint for more details!