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Great Expectations, rebranding and revitalizing

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In recognition of its expanding services, Family Visitors Program (FVP) has changed its name to Great Expectations.

Rebranding for the Glenwood Springs-based nonprofit, founded in 1983, was announced in May by Executive Director Andrew Romanoff, with reassurance that its mission — “to strengthen and empower families, foster the optimum development of children and prevent child abuse and neglect” — will not change.

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The name change allows for the recognition of expanding services beyond their core programs to families in Garfield, Pitkin and western Eagle counties. 

“I’m not suggesting we’re ever going to abandon our core set of programs because those models work, but they’re not the only thing we can do,” Romanoff explained.

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To better reflect the community they serve, they recently made changes within their staff and board of directors.

“Two-thirds of our clients are Latina, so it’s important that we ‘walk the talk’ here and be committed to the equity and diversity we espouse,” Romanoff shared.

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They doubled the board size — from 8 to 16 members — filling six of the eight new seats with Latina community leaders.

Internally, Romanoff said, an emphasis has been placed on hiring bilingual and bicultural people of color. He anticipates that most of the staff will be bilingual by the end of the summer. In addition, a mental health professional will be added to the Great Expectations team. 

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When one of Great Expectations’ family visitors goes to a home where, for example, the client is experiencing postpartum depression or some other mental health concern, the visitor has a screening tool to detect said depression or anxiety, but they cannot offer treatment because they’re not a mental health professional.

The family visitor will then refer the client to a therapist for counseling. However, other issues may result in that counseling appointment never coming to fruition. For example, maybe the therapist doesn’t speak Spanish, take Medicaid or have openings for new clients, explained Romanoff. 

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In their proposed model, Romanoff said a bilingual and bicultural mental health professional would be available on-site at their offices.

Great Expectations also plans to hire a facilitator for a new program, Circle of Parents —  a national evidence-based parent support group model. Romanoff shared that a recent grant will finance the new position. This program “will allow parents to meet other parents who are either expecting kids or have little kids, so they can compare notes and learn and get support from one another.”

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The Great Expectations board adopted two policies to expand the nurse pool in the Nurse-Family Partnership program. First, a tuition assistance plan was implemented at the end of last year and will pay tuition for an employee to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. “If you come to us with an Associate Degree in Nursing, but the job requires a BSN, we’ll pay your tuition to get the BSN,” Romanoff said. 

He added, “If you need any kind of education required by the jobs we’re creating, we’ll pay for that — which is a pretty big deal for a tiny nonprofit.”

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Taking that tuition plan one step further, Romanoff shared, “If the education is related and beneficial to your job, but not necessarily required, we’ll pay for half of that.”

Under the Debt Repayment Plan, if someone is hired by Great Expectations and has student debt, the organization will make monthly payments on the employee’s behalf. 

On the staffing side, Romanoff shared, “I think our challenge is two-fold; one, is recruitment and the other is retention. How do you land top talent, and how do you keep them here?” The hope is that these changes will offer tangible solutions to that challenge.

“The one thing that won’t change is our focus on our population and reaching more families,” Romanoff emphasized. “We’re enhancing the services we provide for the clients we already serve and are asking what else we can do for them and others in our community.”

All Great Expectations programming and services are free to the participant. For more information about its careers and services, go to 

Tags: #Andrew Romanoff #childcare #family visitors #Great Expectations #Jeanne Souldern
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