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OYA Program Office
Quality Assurance
A workgroup comprised of OYA close custody and parole & probation staff members, gathered together four times between November 2006 and May 2007 to begin exploring the agency communication goal in greater detail.  Workgroup members included over 25 Quality Assurance (QA) Specialists providing valuable insight into areas of strengths and improvements, and generated a number of feasible solutions to increase the effectiveness of communication within the agency.
 
The workgroup participants were classified into five categories:
1) Expectations;
2) Trickle Down;
3) Voice;
4) Community Partners; and
5) Field/Facility Collaboration.  
 
A series of large and small group exercises guided the group to identify the system of communication in place, as well as roadblocks to preventing smooth communication flow.  The group then generated 31 potential strategies to assist OYA achieve success.  Some of the proposed strategies included …
 
Establishing formal implementation plans for all initiatives that will be shared with staff …
  • Providing staff with additional technology to effectively do their jobs
  • Applying the QA principles to each new change or initiative (Quality Improvement to be an integral part of the agency)
  • Combining trainings for field and facilities staff
  • Organizing a focus group to develop the most efficient system of communication using a broad spectrum of staff
  • Generating a list describing the various OYA committees so staff know more about on going work
  • Giving feedback to staff for their good work and accomplishments
 
The workgroup’s final report was presented to the Director’s Operations Group in May 2007.  The group was complimented on their work and appreciation expressed for the information. The OYA leadership discussed each of the recommendations and assigned a project leader for many of the suggested strategies.  The full report of the Agency Communication Workgroup can be found in Public Folders in the Quality Improvement folder – Suggestions for Improvement.  If you would like more information please contact your QA Specialist or Sharon Pette, Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement Coordinator at sharon.pette@state.or.us.  I want to personally thank all of the QA Specialists for their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication. True positive change can only occur through collaboration and I look forward to our continued work on implementing these solutions.