IAC: The Years in Review – 1995-2012

The Inter-Agency Committee for Children and Families, or IAC, is in its 17th year of operation. We were co-founded in 1995 and were established as a vehicle for bringing together the public and private members of the human service sector. The issues that brought us together at that time were the need to address growing social challenges collaboratively, to ensure quality outcomes and to make the most of limited resources. The issues we are challenged with are far more pressing today than they were when we first started our collective collaboration 17 years ago. Intelligent and coordinated action is required even more now in order to prevent far worse problems down the road.

IAC has united human service providers along with supporters and concerned individuals in the advancement of advocacy and quality services to support children and families since its foundation in 1995. Initially there were large groups participating in lively discussion and a debate took place about the needs of the children and families that we serve. Membership was an active support system of people from the private, public and government sectors who participated and provided their input.
Later on, training and a commitment to quality improvement in human services kept the organisation together. This was further enhanced with a strategic alliance with the Bermuda National Standards Committee, which has offered a process to Bermuda human service agencies seeking to demonstrate best practice standards. Two forms of achievement and best practice were provided initially – Accreditation for those agencies providing therapeutic services and Certification for agencies who wanted to receive the Good Housekeeping seal of approval but were delivering broad based programmes in curriculum or service deliverables that were focused on educating or creating awareness from a prevention perspective rather than a treatment format.

More recently we found we were reaching the end of the operational and business plan that we had been delivering against. In our 2011 strategic planning it became apparent that the time was ripe for us to revisit the initial concept of addressing growing social challenges collaboratively. Given the work that had been achieved through the “Convenings” and the participation of several agencies in that process, as well as the need to continue that work, it became evident that we had an opportunity before us that could not be overlooked. And so the journey began in discussing and debating who we wanted to be in the futureI AanCd how we could bring all of us together who are committed to change for children and families.
In 2012, we now believe that IAC is well placed to deliver a targeted advocacy strategy of its own to help drive the priorities that those of us on the front lines of social issues know must occur and we are all also passionate about the advocacy work that must be done to reverse the negative trends for children and families.

Submitted by: Cathy Belvedere – IAC Interim Chair Executive Director, Bermuda Sports Anti-Doping Authority