We believe in growth and nurture it as much as possible.
Recently a participant reached out to me. They had moved from a very intensive form of support to living with someone in community. It took a long time for them to get there, and a lot of intentional work by both them and their support team. Hearing from this participant affirmed again for me the importance of the work of El’dad. This is one of many stories of participant success. The work we do at El’dad encourages people to grow and become more self-reliant and able to become more fully part of community.
These successes are not by accident. At El’dad, we invest energy and time fostering a growth mindset. This starts with the employees. Leadership staff consist of people who have demonstrated the ability to help others develop. They model what growth support looks like with other employees, and that same mindset is fostered in staff supporting participants. For employees who want opportunities, there are opportunities available; for those who want more responsibilities, there are opportunities to learn. Over time the program has grown to allow staff opportunities to move into positions of more responsibility.
There are plenty of opportunities for El’dad to grow as an organization. As staff develop and they in turn help others develop to replace them, then we can be responsive to the needs of the sector. There are many needs right now. We turn away opportunities because we don’t yet have the staff ready to take on more responsibilities. Sometimes we have hired people externally to work with us, but it has not worked out as well as when people have grown from within. Our success rate with external hires as leadership is less then 50% staying with us and much less then 50% if taken for more then a year or two after being hired. The large majority of El’dad leadership staff are people who have developed within IJC.
The El’dad vision statement reads:
We support adults with intellectual challenges by building on their strengths; recognizing their worth; honouring their ability to make informed choices and achieve personal growth.
When this statement was crafted, participants were asked if these words were true to their experience with El’dad. Participants made suggestions but most notable was the one they made referring to growth. The original version used the word “goals” instead of “growth”. While we do a lot of work on goals, and it is a component of growth, the participants suggested we change it to growth. This was an excellent point, and the change was made.
We believe that growth is not just important, but vital to the work done at El’dad. This intentional focus on growth has ripple effects throughout the organization. Because of El’dad’s growth mindset, staff and participants have more opportunities to grow and develop. This creates a healthier, more vibrant organization with purpose and hope.