Because we work with communities and families, it is imperative to understand what people are going through. System builders and service providers need to get into the shoes of the families they serve. This has been a guiding principle of VIVA’s work with Help Me Grow LA Pathways, funded by First 5 LA. VIVA is the technical assistance provider and evaluation lead for the Pathways project, supporting several partner agencies who are working to strengthen early intervention referral pathways in their local communities. The technical assistance VIVA provides spans disciplines, but includes a focus on helping these partners better understand and meet the needs of the families who are in need of early identification and intervention services.

Family Journey Mapping is a tool for helping to understand families’ experiences navigating systems. With Family Journey Maps, we can center the experiences of families and consider changes that are directly motivated by user experience. VIVA created a process and tools to equip our partners to engage families and conduct their own family journey mapping processes in order to identify barriers and guide their Help Me Grow Pathways work. VIVA then provided additional technical assistance and graphic design support, to create visually appealing maps that can serve as tools for these partners over the course of their work.

Key activities of this partnership:

  • Data Visualization
  • Evaluation
  • Family Engagement
  • Family Journey Mapping
  • Storytelling
  • Training
  • Technical Assistance

“The family journey mapping really allowed us to see how emotional it may be for families as they go through the entire referral process. They need to be emotionally ready to hear what services and supports their child may need…. For this reason, having someone provide support, advocacy, and/or guidance through the process was a key element that became clear from going through the family journey process.”  – Children’s Bureau

“[Family journey mapping was a] visual tool to help us identify and plot pain points and experiences easier—a more holistic overview of the ins and outs of the process of attaining EII services.” – Child Care Resource Center