2016 Goals – How Did We Do?

Our Mission: To use the joy of dog training in support of behavioral therapy professionals in their effort to nurture empathy and non-violent problem-solving skills.

Goal 1: To create the infrastructure and resources to support expansion of services in the Portland Metro and surrounding areas.

We identified the following steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Recruit, train and support more volunteer dog/handler teams so that we can meet existing demand in the Portland Metro area as well as expand into surrounding areas. For this we need to:
    • Execute the published training/testing plan to prepare and provision four new S.T.A.R. teams. Caveat: We do not have the human resources to support more than one training cohort at a time — all existing handlers must be certified before the next class begins. Done: Class of 4 new teams in final stages of certification as of December 21.  March 2017 Update: 1 team recognized that our activities were physically risky for the dog, and wisely chose to bow out.
    • Provide a strong support system for approved S.T.A.R. team handlers. To include:
      • Identify a suitable location and hold regular group practice sessions at least once a quarter, better if once a month.
        Done: Western Pet Supply in SW (Jan-Oct), DogTown in Gresham (TBD)
      • Continue to identify presenters and content for 2-3 continuing education workshops to help S.T.A.R. teams stay on top of their game. Done: see list below.
      • Encourage continuing education in related disciplines (scholarships to outside classes/events)

        • Barn Hunt Workshop
        • Stewarding at Rally/Novice Obedience trial;
        • Co-hosting and attending the Grisha Stewart Teamwork seminar,
        • 4 handlers registered to attend the 2017 ClickerExpo in Portland
        • Two handlers attended 3-day Chicken Camp
        • Two scholarships awarded for different events.
      • Continue refining the 3-ring binder training manual for S.T.A.R. team handlers  Work in progress.
      • Document the lending libraries of books/videos/props. Work in progress.
  2. Develop a steady income stream and manage it responsibly. Steps toward this goal to include but not be limited to:
    • Finalize a “Grant Application Kit” of up-to-date information for use by all members of the organization.
    • Formalize a Financial Policy defining:
      • Management of organizational monies (savings, checking, and credit) Not done.
      • Scholarship policy Not done.
      • Guidelines for assessing the value of organizational participation in local fundraising and promotional events. Not done.
      • File a 990-EZ for 2015 rather than the 990 postcard (for which we qualify) to make explicit our financial position for potential grantors. Done.

Goal 2: To create and nurture healthy relationships with client organizations

Side note: We have successfully added two new client organizations – Good Neighbor Center Summer School  and the Portland Police BoyStrength Program. We are working on establishing a relationship with LifeWorks NW – they have repeatedly shown interest, and we hope to iron out site issues in the coming year. We have temporarily halted visits to HomePlate for lack of a good working model. Both sides are interested in pursuing visits and now that they have a fixed location in Beaverton we will reopen the conversation.

We identified the following steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Define realistic screening criteria to be used in evaluating and prioritizing various types of potential client relationships.    In process.
    To include but not be limited to:

    • On-going weekly visits at a specific facility, 1 or 2 children at a time (examples: DV shelters, residential treatment facilities, HomePlate outreach to older homeless youths)
    • Annually repeated short series of small group classes (example: elementary schools) or multi-week summer schools.
    • One-time events/sequences for larger groups (examples: Girl Scout summer camp; Adelante Chicas)
  2. Define and follow the steps necessary to set up a relationship with suitable clients. To include but not be limited to:
    • Complete creation of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) for all new clients Done.
    • Handler certifications  In process.
  3. Provide clients and potential clients information that clarifies and validates our program.
    • Continue work with the Psychology Dept. at Pacific University to objectively measure and document the efficacy of S.T.A.R. sessions.  Done.
    • Create a brochure which succinctly describes in terminology appropriate for therapy professionals what our program does and does not do. This brochure  will  include the evidence-based assessment by Pacific University.  In process.

Goal 3: Continue to capture all forms, procedures, expenses, guidelines – EVERYTHING needed for others to replicate the program elsewhere.

In process:  Curriculum manual for the longer-term series of classes used at Good Neighbor Center Summer Camp has been prepared by Lori Gamroth.