A Chat with COO Jaime Angarita

dsc_0002Q:  What brought you to the not-for-profit world and The Child Center of NY?

Many of the words used to describe our clients have been familiar to me throughout my life, because they could have described my own family’s situation: Poor. Immigrant. Shared family-housing. Uneducated. My mother didn’t graduate high school. She was young when she had me and worked a series of odd jobs to put food on the table. Both my wife and I have biological fathers lost to drugs or incarceration. The familiarity of these “descriptors” is what attracted me to the not-for-profit industry.

I see them as just that — descriptors. They do not define our clients, and with the right assistance and support, they do not result in the expected statistics.

When I brought in a large client (FEGS) to my global consulting firm, I spent more than a year as the court-appointed advisor.  What I realized from that client is that I can use the skillset developed over my career to assist and support those clients with whom I share so many “descriptors.” My mind was made up:  the not-for-profit world is simply more fulfilling, and I transitioned.

When I was introduced to The Child Center, I recognized immediately that this team is special, and it has all the ingredients for success. Traci is an extremely strong leader with an equally impressive supporting team. The agency combines business analytics and passion for social change like no other; that is evident, and others are taking notice. When I was looking for an agency to call home, the people here made my decision for me.

Any future changes or plans moving forward you’d like to share with staff?

The tools for social impact and change that we are using are only tools. A paintbrush in the hands of an artist without passion does not result in anything worth looking at. The same goes for us. The metrics, outcomes, and evidence-based practices we use are your tools. We will continue to pursue and measure the indicators and results of our work, so that we can work smarter and harder. Your passion is the difference-maker, the catalyst. Generally most people are opposed to change, but this agency must continue to embrace it.

Our future will focus on breaking down any barriers or silos within and outside of our agency, so that we may completely wrap around services to the most vulnerable populations. When we become truly integrated, we will make a larger social impact.

This idea of integration is embodied in the following three initiatives: cross-divisional referrals, Health Homes, and the Casey Foundation’s Results Based Framework (“RBF”) led by Deep Ghosh. Neither of these are in any one division; all of them are agency-wide.

Cross-divisional referrals aim to make certain that every client at The Child Center receives every service needed for that child to thrive. Health Homes aims to coordinate the internal and external services, both primary-care and non-medical, that a child may need to be successful. RBF aims to use data and wrap-around services to make certain that those populations with “descriptors” graduate successfully and beat the statistics. This is an exciting time for The Child Center of NY, and it’s wonderful to be a part of leading us toward the future.



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