The Story behind the Story

Reflecting on 30 Years of FCNI
by
Jim Roberts, CEO
January, 31, 2017 -

Many of you know that the Family Care Network has commenced an extended celebration of our 30 year anniversary which will be August 21, 2017. For this campaign, I have written a story per year. Beginning the first week of January, we released our first year story and a supporting video, and will continue to do so weekly for 30 weeks. This is been a very fun and exciting project for a variety of reasons.

Much to my joy and delight, this has really been a family project. Our three sons have pretty much grown up with the Family Care Network and certainly know the story from another perspective. Needless to say, it is really a treat to have all three of them helping with our anniversary celebration. Our oldest son, Jesse, is serving as the Project Manager for the videography. As a documentary filmmaker, he brings excellent skill and creativity to the project – especially considering we have a very limited budget to work with.

Our second son, Joel, is in charge of creating, updating and managing our 30.FCNI.org website, and launching the weekly videos. He is currently the FCNI IT & Multimedia Supervisor and has been managing all of the Family Care Network websites for a number of years. Our youngest son, Seth, has been providing pro bono consultation and guidance. He is a four-time Webby winner as the Creative Art Director for realtor.com, a News Corp company, with expertise in multimedia marketing, branding and avant-garde technology.

I have approached writing each yearly story using specific information elements. I arrived at these elements based on my experience over this span of time and my profound conviction about who and what has significantly contributed to the Family Care Network’s success.

First, as the storyteller, I really tried to make this personal, sharing real experiences with all candor. As you well know, what people see, and what takes place out of view, can be two different things. Thus, I have tried to be as forthright and honest as I can about our facts, passions, struggles, concerns and exhilarations. I have tried to open a window to view parts of our story that would otherwise go unseen. I have tried not to “sanitize” our story, and make it a real, first-hand account.

Second, I have attempted to be as detailed and yet entertaining as I can, given the small journalistic footprint I have two work within. There is much to talk about year-to-year and while it has been rather fun to do so, it is rather challenging to narrow down the conversation to the most salient points without becoming boring. There are so many funny, crazy details that I could include but can’t. I just might write an addendum revealing these very hilarious and sometimes scary tales!

Third, the Family Care Network history is a wonderful story about people and relationships. There have been so many amazing individuals both within and outside of our organization who have contributed to our journey. It is been quite enjoyable to walk down memory lane thinking about the dozens and dozens of significant contributions folks have made, reminiscing on the incredible personalities who have added depth and dimension to our organization. In every year, I have attempted to shine a light on the most impactful individuals in within that timeframe.

Fourth, I have diligently attempted to build the Family Care Network as a “Community-Based Organization” and not just being another not-for-profit. As such, networking and building partnerships and relationships outside of our organization has been a driving force. Our entire 30 year story is really about people, problem-solving, networking and collaboration. We mean what we said in our organization’s mission statement: “to enhance the wellbeing of children and families, in Partnership with our Community.” As I have looked back over our journey, I am in awe of the incredible community which has come alongside our organization to serve children, youth and families, and honored to talk about these relationships.

Fifth and finally, I have always operated the Family Care Network on the premise that we are here to serve and meet vital needs within our community. Every program and service we have implemented over the years has been built on a simple model: 1) what is a need or gap in services that must be addressed, 2) what are potential solutions to addressed that need or gap, 3) what partnerships, coalitions or collaborations can be forged to implement the solution, and 4) what are the best practices to be learned and implemented to most effectively achieve very positive outcomes for children, youth and families. Our history is a year-by-year account of creating solutions to critical community issues, with the goal to improve the quality of life for everyone here on the Central Coast.

As I have reminisced over the storied 30 year history of the Family Care Network, I have been left humbled, incredibly appreciative and in complete awe of what has transpired. I will summarize by stating – our 30 year story is undoubtedly about amazing people, effective networking and collaboration, vision and strategic planning, risk-taking, creativity and innovation, and the support of a very generous, giving and caring community.

Thank you and God bless everyone who has made this journey possible!