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Foundational Conditions

Service excellence is built on a foundation made up of these 4 conditions within an organization. Strength in these areas is an ongoing process. Much like the core components, these foundational conditions are interrelated and interdependent. Strength in one may bolster another that is less developed, while challenges in one can prevent others from improving.

1. Organizational commitment to racial & economic equity

Structural racism and growing income and wealth disparities in the US mean that communities of color and those struggling to make ends meet are vastly overrepresented in populations receiving social services. High quality cannot be achieved, therefore, without a strong and explicit organization-wide commitment to racial and economic equity that translates into everyday practices for supporting these marginalized communities towards stability and wellbeing.

2. Organizational mission & vision are driven by an authentic understanding of community needs and strengths

A respectful and trusting relationship with the service pop-ulation shapes the core of the organization’s purpose and intended impact.

3. Alignment between organizational mission & vision and program outcomes

such as in a theory of change or logic model, are foundational for high quality services. Organizational mission & vision are ultimately what quality services aim to achieve, and strong program outcomes are both the result of high quality services and a measure of quality improvement successes.

4. Organizational & leadership supports supply tangible and intangible resources

that are necessary for high quality services. These resources include funding, commitment from leaders, physical space and materials, and billing and accounting functions, among many others. These supports enable programs to serve their community, and when they are absent program quality suffers as a result.

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