Nutley Family Service Bureau recently received a $26,000 grant from a wonderful supporter, the Partners for Health Foundation, to create a Client Advisory Board.
The purpose of the new board will be to collect feedback and recommendations from clients on our programs, services, and events. The Client Advisory Board will discuss the substance of these programs, how they’re promoted and executed, their impact on the community, and more.
“The goal is to engage clients in a meaningful way to ensure everything we do is client-centered and client-informed,” said Katherine Carmichael, Executive Director of NFSB. “The Client Advisory Board will provide us with very detailed feedback directly from people who benefit from our services.”
NFSB will recruit approximately 10-12 adult clients from all NFSB programs to become members of the Client Advisory Board, which will be self-governing and formalized with bylaws. These clients, along with Katherine and NFSB staff members, will meet monthly.
“We’re excited to recruit clients who are advocating not for their own service, but for service to others in the community,” Katherine said. “We’ll gather referrals from staff, who know our clients better than anyone. We’ll also invite clients to attend information sessions about the Client Advisory Board so they can decide if they’d like to fill out an application. Our objective is to create a board that’s reflective of our client demographic across the organization.”
The staff and trustees work hard to develop programs that will make a difference in the community. The Client Advisory Board will allow us to hear directly from clients on a regular basis so we can learn from their experiences and observations. The Client Advisory Board will also be able to take an active role in sponsoring community events, such as educational workshops about topics that are particularly timely and relevant to the community.
“Incorporating the perspective and insights of NFSB clients into our decision-making process will help us improve existing programs and services and generate ideas for new ones,” Katherine said. “Many healthcare organizations are using the advisory board model. We’re grateful that the grant from the Partners for Health Foundation will allow us to bring this best practice to NFSB.”