The New Mexico Piñon Project

The purpose of the project, focused on the Protective Services Division, is to define a framework of how our agency engages and works together with children, youth, families, and stakeholders to create an environment that focuses on the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and their families. The Piñon Project has been underway since November 2009 and it and involves the entire Protective Services leadership team along with regional and field staff.

This initiative is directed to the development of a coherent framework that is part of continuous quality improvement. The practice model and framework has several outcomes. It:

  • Articulates vision, mission, values, and operating principles in a manner that informs, inspires, empowers, and engages staff and partners; and provides clarity and direction to our work
  • Improves our organizational culture and climate, policies, structure, and practices--providing clarity to new and seasoned employees about our organizational process
  • Promotes experiments on the local level to better achieve of safety, permanence, and well-being outcomes
  • Engages all stakeholders
  • Employs a strengths-based approach in developing the model, building on what is working
  • Incorporates the principles and practices of System of Care: child-focused, family-centered, trauma-informed, strengths-based, community-based, and culturally competent array of services and supports
  • Creates a strategy for change management that is data driven and data tracked, allowing for ongoing evaluation of the change process as well as tracking of targeted outcomes.

How does the Piñon Project evolve?
One of the project’s goals is to build on what is working. The majority of the changes are focused on creating consistency of practice – best practice – across the state. We worked to identify those promising and best practices that were occurring in our agency and are striving to make them standard practice.

What are Implementation Zones?
The Implementation Zones are offices that have initiated projects designed to address challenges. These offices are focusing on data-driven, result-oriented projects that improve the work environment and delivery of services.  The Implementation Zones are: Stateside Central Intake (SCI), Bernalillo, Grant, San Juan, Chaves, San Miguel, San Juan, and Chaves Counties. Seven other counties will become the next round of Implementation Zones in September. They include: Cibola, Colfax/Union, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Quay, Sierra/Socorro, and Curry/Roosevelt.

What are expected outcomes from the Piñon Project?
First and foremost, the expected outcomes will be that we perform our work based on the mission, vision and values identified in the Practice Model and that a commitment to continuous quality improvement will guide our work.

How can I keep updated on the Piñon Project?
PS publishes the monthly e-magazine Piñon Perspectives with updates on the project, insights from staff, and articles on key components of continuous quality improvement. Employees and our external partners are encouraged to use Piñon Perspectives as a way to share views, insights and concerns.