Catholic Social Services (CSS) Planning
The work of the Church in meeting the needs of those in need in the Fall River Diocese is so great that planning for the future was addressed by five subcommittees of the Commission on Catholic Social Services. Organizing (leadership, communication and development), Finance and Administration, New Services, Parish Partnerships and Community Outreach were studied and addressed in a broad set of recommendations. The work of the Commission and its subcommittees was guided by the words of Pope Francis.
“The poor are first and foremost persons, and their faces conceal that of Christ himself. They are his flesh, signs of his crucified body, and we have the duty to reach them even in the most extreme peripheries and in the hidden parts of history with the delicacy and tenderness of Mother Church.”- Pope Francis
1. Observation: CSS has inadequate Board of Directors oversight.
Recommendation: Inspire a new Board with a renewed sense of mission, a clear vision, and expanded opportunities for lay and clergy leadership and engagement.
- Rebuild the Board of Directors
- Renew mission and vision statements
- Re-establish appropriate governance responsibilities
- Review and update the organization’s by-laws
- Re-name/re-brand Catholic Social Services to better align with Catholic Charities which is a more well-known brand.
- Develop new website as part of re-brand.
2. Observation: CSS lacks proper administrative structure and Human Resource policies and procedures. They have had mixed performance results.
Recommendation: Create a new organizational structure that inspires and motivates employees to perform at their best and develop the appropriate management tools for financial transparency and support.
- Re-organize CSS organization structure
- Create a Development Officer Role
- Enhance employee morale and retention
- Implemented Employee Assistance Program
3. Observation: There is a gap in services between what CSS provides and what the population in the diocese needs.
Recommendation: Offer new and expanded services to people in need.
- Provide mental health services
- Create a needs assessment for the parishes in each deanery to identify underserved populations.
4. Observation: Some parishes feel disconnected to CSS
Recommendation: Connect CSS to our Parish communicates with mercy by opening line of communication and creating responsive solutions.
- Re-engage parishioners with CSS
- Link CSS mission-focused activities with parishes
- Outreach to parishes from CSS
5. Observation: Duplication of services exists within each deanery
Recommendation: Define how CSS can better partner with external organizations to most effectively help those in need.
- Re-evaluate current programs/contracts for profit/impact
- Collaborate with other service providers
- Develop more effective communications including directory of services, website and social media
- Create Volunteer Coordinators and Navigators for each deanery