Department of Social Services, Building a Stronger Louisiana - Kristy H. Nichols, Secretary
July 2, 2009

Dear Social Service Stakeholder,

Recently, DSS announced a series of initiatives designed to cultivate a culture of leadership and innovation in social service delivery that fosters creative problem solving and allows staff and stakeholders the opportunity to explore new ideas that will better serve our clients, partners and communities.

DSS, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is bringing together individuals in state government and community organizations to the Innovation in Louisiana Government Fellowship (ILGF), which will build a community of leadership and solution-driven collaborations within the state. The fellowship will offer 15 individuals the opportunity to develop further as professionals and leaders and will provide training and technical assistance a six-month training academy. The ultimate goal is to spark improved outcomes for Louisiana's citizens and communities.

Currently, DSS is seeking nominations for members for its Leadership Forum Advisory Board, which will serve an important role in the fellowship, as well as advise DSS on policy and program issues on a regular basis and will provide input on innovative solutions to help streamline DSS services and increase the efficiency of business practices.

The DSS Leadership Forum Advisory Board will be comprised of representatives of community-based and non-governmental agencies, as well as government and industry. The primary responsibilities of the board include confirming the 15 individuals selected as program fellows and providing guidance to the fellowship class as they work to develop effective solutions to social service delivery that may be implemented, assessed and replicated.

In addition the board will hold a twice-yearly Leadership and Innovation Conference in August 2009 and February 2010. The first conference will serve as the orientation and opening summit for the first class of fellows, and the second conference will include graduation activities and the presentation of the final fellowship projects.

Members also will be invited to participate along with other social service stakeholders in monthly Web casts, which will provide networking opportunities and updates on new and ongoing DSS programs. As part of these meetings, DSS will arrange for nationally recognized guest speakers to give lectures and facilitate discussions about issues that are important to the social service delivery system in Louisiana.

I hope you will consider nominating a qualified representative from your organization or applying to serve in an advisory capacity for DSS and as a mentor to the first class of ILGF fellows.

DSS will consider individuals for the advisory board who share in our vision that Louisiana children, families and individuals are safe, thriving and self sufficient and who are committed to fostering strategic innovations to make this vision a reality. Potential board members are:
  • Recognized leaders with a demonstrated interest in fostering innovation in social services;
  • Knowledgeable in social services related business processes, cost savings, efficiencies, intervention strategies, improved service delivery and client outcomes, or systems level integration; and
  • Willing to serve if appointed and to commit the necessary time, energy and effort to contribute to activities related to the Innovation in Louisiana Government Fellowship.
To nominate a representative or to apply, submit a resume or curriculum vitae of the nominee along with a letter of intent describing the nominee's motivations and qualifications to serve in this capacity to Brandon Reeves at by July 15, 2009, at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Brandon via e-mail or call 225-342-6775 or visit

Partnerships with community leaders and stakeholders are an important factor in strengthening the link between DSS and its clients and helping to address some of Louisiana's most pressing social problems. Thank you for your consideration of this important new initiative to develop leadership and foster innovation in socials services so that we may ensure the safety of children the stability of families and the well-being of all Louisiana citizens.


Kristy Nichols

627 N. Fourth St. | Baton Rouge, LA 70802 | PH: (225) 342-0286 | FX: (225) 342-8636 |

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