(PRWEB) February 23, 2007 -- There are numerous ways to search for grants and bid opportunities but they can be costly and time consuming. Typically organizations have assigned employees the task of looking for funding opportunities on top of their already full plates. Finding opportunities that meet the company's goals and structure is an art, states Lauren Litton, founder of I.S.P. Consulting. Frequently, viable options are missed. As a courtesy, we started sending our clients notices about grant and funding solicitations. We were able to pay attention to special interests based on the relationship we built with our clients. Our clients were extremely happy about the notifications and expressed a desire for regular correspondence. Thus, I.S.P. identified a need in the business world for a comparable service and created Opportunity Link.
Through Opportunity Link, I.S.P. connects businesses with grant opportunities that include federal, state, and foundation funding sources and available state and federal government solicitations for goods or services that meet your individualized profile. There are other services that simply copy information from the funding databases and pass it on to you for a minimal fee. Ms. Litton explains that companies that sign up for Opportunity Link speak with a consultant. A lot of information is collected during the interview process so that searches are accurately tailored to that individual company. News articles and announcement that can impact the work of the company will also be sent in weekly emails.
Opportunity Link is designed for companies that are serious about expanding their knowledge of the funding world. It is a beginning of a partnership between your organization and I.S.P. Consulting.
(PRWeb) November 29, 2006 -- The news is littered with stories of violence occurring at businesses, frequently due to the fact that one of the employees is a victim of intimate partner violence and his/her perpetrator makes the violence public by acting outside of the home. Several states are now examining how to motivate the private sector to adopt workplace policies on domestic violence and institute awareness and training programs at their worksites. This is the wave of the future and one day soon will more than likely become mandatory for all companies.
Research demonstrates that domestic violence affects performance and costs companies a lot of money when the support is not in place to assist employees. At the other spectrum, ill preparation can mean the loss of lives. Implementing and abiding by policies are a cost-effective means of addressing a pervasive problem in workforces.
Lauren Litton of I.S.P. Consulting says there are now model policies to follow. A few recommended policies include:
* Prohibiting discrimination against employees because they are victims of domestic or sexual violence.
* Establishing confidential means for reporting domestic or sexual violence.
* Providing education and training on domestic and sexual violence to all employees and designating a coordinator.
* Adjusting work schedules and providing flexible paid and unpaid leave so that victims can obtain necessary medical care, counseling, or legal assistance.
* Establishing disciplinary actions for any employee who threatens, harasses or abuses a family or household member at, or from, the workplace.
I.S.P. Consulting is available to companies to help develop and examine policies around workplace violence, including sexual harassment and stalking, based on best practices and state and local laws. Having an outside agency assist with the process also provides an opportunity for employees to discuss if there are existing safety issues that management and business owners are not currently aware of.
Grafton County, New Hampshire has been devoted to addressing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse and how it relates to system response. Supported by federal funding, the courts, domestic violence agency, and child protection agency have worked together to coordinate their responses. The efforts have resulted in vast changes in policy and practice, including the philosophical approach to families both in and out of systems.
Grafton County is one of five federal demonstration sites that have been implementing the recommendations found in the publication, Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice (the Greenbook). It is imperative that there is a common lens and framework from which systems respond. This past year Grafton County has been dedicated to the systems and closely aligned partners, putting pen to paper and writing protocols and policies that promote safety, well-being, and stability for families experiencing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse. Three guides were developed through this project – one for the courts, one for court appointed special advocates, and one for the domestic violence community.
I.S.P. Consulting was brought in to help write the guide for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). CASA volunteers are appointed in abuse and neglect cases to represent the best interest of the child to the court. The CASA Guide is more of a training tool on domestic violence that also incorporates the best practices that are supported by the community and the court.
Lauren Litton of I.S.P. Consulting praised the community for taking the chance to try something new. “Communities often are afraid to document their new approaches for fear that it won’t work or will backfire”, Ms. Litton stated. “It is this very documentation that assists the community in further assessing what is and is not working and additionally helps other communities by sharing lessons learned” she added.
The court, CASA, and domestic violence guides are in draft form for the next few months while they are piloted. The CASA guide can be found at www.thegreenbook.info/documents/NH_CASA_Guide.pdf
Sandusky, OH, September 03, 2006 -- (PR.COM) -- Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter, Inc. has been awarded a Transitional Housing Assistance Grant by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to establish Homeward Bound, a transitional housing project. This is the first time that these grant monies have been bestowed to any agency in the Firelands’ Area.
Grants made under this program support programs that provide assistance to individuals and their children who are in need of housing assistance as a result of fleeing a situation of domestic violence, and for whom emergency shelter services or other crisis intervention services are unavailable or insufficient.
Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter, Inc. joined with the Volunteers of America of Northwest Ohio, Inc., Zonta Club of Sandusky Area, Ottawa County Transitional Housing, Inc., and the Sandusky Area YMCA to form Homeward Bound. Additionally, local landlords, churches, the OSU Extension Office, and other service providers are key elements to the overall project’s success.
The purpose of this partnership is to create comprehensive, wrap-around services for victims of domestic violence, who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, who reside in Erie, Ottawa, or Huron counties in the state of Ohio. Homeward Bound represents the commitment of agencies and community members in the three counties to work together to streamline efforts, search for effective alternatives, and leverage existing resources in order to create holistic, victim-centered services that assist victims of domestic violence obtain safe, secure, and permanent housing.
“Homeward Bound will make a tremendous difference for women and their children in our community by filling a current gap for those who victimized by domestic violence” said Linda Mitchell, Executive Director of Safe Harbour. “For more than five years, I have dreamed of establishing a transitional housing program and I am thrilled about the opportunity that the Office on Violence Against Women has provided us” she further stated. Safe Harbour called upon Lauren Litton of I.S.P. Consulting, based in Norwalk, Ohio to assist in locating and securing funding for the project, as she has worked nationally on violence against women and child abuse related issues.
Ms. Litton indicated that “this project is built upon the belief that with the necessary time, support and opportunities, families will be able to live violence free and break the cycle of poverty and domestic violence.” Safe Harbour will work with its partners to offer clients intensive case management services. It is anticipated that clients will locate and obtain the housing of their choice, receive necessary subsidies, and increase their selfsufficiency skills in order to maintain their housing once the subsidies have ended. As of September 1, 2006 the project will enter into its planning phase with the goal of being operational by the end of the year.
Cleveland, OH, July 20, 2006 --(PR.COM)-- Most grant programs and new initiatives require that communities work collaboratively among varied disciplines. However, many groups never get off the ground or all progress is on paper only and the community never sees the long-term results.
Lauren Litton, of I.S.P. Consulting, recommends using focus group as a tool from the planning to the sustainability phase of any project or assessment process. Focus groups are a mechanism that facilitates bringing in the voices of those who would usually not be heard to come to the forefront. They are a great venue to receive input from consumers, professionals, and other key constituencies. People are often more comfortable speaking to people of the like yoke. For example, judges will be more open with other judges, social workers with social workers, and so on. Focus groups can be run so that they are by profession or interest which provides people an opportunity to network as well as inform the policy maker of interests that he/she may not be aware of. Additionally, they can be operated very quickly at a low cost. The benefit received from focus groups greatly outweighs the resources expended.
I.S.P has used the focus group as a tool when assessing community resources to expand legal services, address legislative issues around child custody and visitation, and for information gathering for collaborative work. Focus groups are being used more broadly than testing markets or other basic research. They should be considered as part of most project activities.
Some of the most important factors in running a successful focus group surround the skills of the facilitator. A facilitator cannot lead the discussion but must be aware of the issues at hand in order to explore comments of participants. It is also often important to use someone from the outside of the community. Someone who is not connected with the community will not be viewed as an insider, have real or perceived connections with an issue at hand, and will be able to compile the results of the focus groups and present them in a non-threatening manner, as there is no local interest at stake. Finally, there must be a marketing plan for the focus groups and sometimes pre-information gathering is necessary, such as the distribution of surveys.
Overall, focus groups are a simple way to assess success and plan next steps. They can be done quickly with the assistance of professionals.
Cleveland, OH, December 04, 2005 --(PR.COM)-- I.S.P. Consulting is a unique consulting firm to meet your individual and collaborative needs. Founded by Lauren Litton, I.S.P. Consulting builds upon her expertise of working on a national and local level with governmental entities, community-based organizations, corporations, not-for-profit agencies, courts, child protection systems, and collaborative community groups to effect
As your innovative, strategic partner for success, I.S.P. consultants work around the clock to develop new solutions by staying abreast of technology and other mechanisms used to move companies forward. Consultants pride themselves on being involved in national dialogues that are continually exploring best practices. Each client is provided individual and specialized attention in order to tailor actions that strategically meet the client’s goals.
For more than 15 years, I.S.P. consultants have provided direct services, public policy analysis, research, and system and individual advocacy in the domestic violence and child abuse fields. Consultants have worked with child protection agencies, courts, community-based organizations, law enforcement, domestic violence organizations, and collaborations to examine their policies, philosophies, and responses to child abuse and domestic violence.
I.S.P. monitors developments that can affect agencies and communities committed to ending violence and stay abreast of emerging practices and funding sources. Clients from both the private and public sectors use the firm's research, analytical, communications, and advisory capacities to develop and implement policies and strategic plans; improve internal management; identify stakeholder priorities; address conflict between system and community interests; and identify political, regulatory, and economic factors influencingpublic and private-sector decision-making.
I.S.P offers strategic planning, program development and assessment, facilitation, conflict resolution, team building, grant writing, conference and meeting planning, and training and technical assistance.
I.S.P. has been retained to coordinate the National Institute for Civil Discourse Initiative to Revive Civility in Ohio. The national grassroots initiative aims at increasing awareness about the effectiveness of civil discourse, teaching skills to further constructive conversations and supporting efforts to use this framework to address self-identified community issues. Revive Civility Ohio offers tools to pledge, engage, and organize opportunities to foster respect and civility on both individual and large-scale institutional and community levels.
New Service Adds a Dedicated Fundraiser to Your Company
Relevant and timely information is now sent to your in-box connecting your business to the latest funding and bid announcements.
Workplace Violence is an Unfortunate Reality: Is Your Company Prepared?
Companies must be proactive by developing and implementing policies that prohibit and allow staff to respond to family violence and other issues that can impact the workplace.
Protocols Developed that Address the Intersection of Domestic Violence
and Child Abuse
A coordinated response is necessary to help improve the safety of battered women and their children.
Tri-County Transitional Housing Program for Victims of Domestic Violence to be Established in Ohio
Community collaborates to initiate a new program that will help victims of domestic violence and their children achieve permanency and stability.
Focus Groups: Public Policy and Collaborative Planning
Focus groups are becoming the steak and potatoes of community assessments and project planning.
Firm Dedicated to Aiding Governments, Community-Based Agencies, Collaborations, and Others in Addressing Violence Against Women and Children
A new firm launched that addresses the comprehensive needs of organizations, governmental entities, and communities attending to domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, and other social justice issues.
I.S.P. serving as coordinator for Revive Civility Ohio