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Request for Proposals for Organizational Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultants

RFP for Organizational Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultants to Develop and Implement the Kentucky CASA Network’s Commitment and Plan to Build and Sustain an Anti-Racist Network

Project Overview

As part of its commitment to building and sustaining an anti-racist organizational culture, the Kentucky Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Network (KCN) seeks an organizational DEI expert with local ties to guide the KCN’s efforts to evaluate and assess its internal organizational culture with the goal to ensure that structural racism and white supremacy culture are not prevalent in the organization’s policies and practices. The KCN seeks to engage with this consultant during fall and winter 2020 in a process of reflection, planning, implementation, and evaluation in the context of several converging factors: (1) the KCN holds equity as a key organizational value; (2) racial disproportionality is a documented occurrence in Kentucky’s child welfare system, within which CASA plays a significant role; and (3) current events continue to amplify the call for racial justice, imploring all organizations to examine the ways in which their foundational policies and practices may unintentionally uphold what Jones and Okun (2011) call a “white supremacy culture” and contribute to systemic racism.

Organizational Overview

The KCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors, that provides ongoing development, training, technical assistance, and resources to local CASA programs across the Commonwealth in accordance with National CASA/GAL Association (NCASA) standards and Kentucky Revised Statutes. The KCN offices are located in Louisville, Kentucky, with three staff members working remotely from their home offices in Lexington, Berea, and Owensboro.

KCN Mission and Values

The mission of the KCN is to support the development, growth, and continuation of CASA programs in Kentucky. Local CASA programs recruit and train volunteers to advocate on behalf of children who have come into the court system as a result of dependency, neglect, or abuse. Currently, the KCN is an association of 23 local CASA programs (all non-profit organizations), which cover 62 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The KCN’s values include:

  • Collaboration: The strength of CASA in Kentucky lies in working in good faith as a unified team with local CASA programs, NCASA, child welfare agencies, local communities, and statewide stakeholders. 
  • Service: We believe in putting the needs of the programs we serve first. We are here to assist the programs, boards, staff, and volunteers to develop and become as highly effective as possible in their service to children involved in the court system.
  • Accountability: We report on our activities and decisions to local programs, stakeholders, donors, grantors, and community partners. We accept responsibility for our activities and decisions. We report and disclose the result of activities and decisions in a transparent manner. 
  • Gratitude: We appreciate the opportunity and resources we have been provided to strengthen CASA in Kentucky. We are grateful for the work of local CASA programs with a shared vision with the KCN and each other.
  • Transparency: We value the trust that we have been given by programs, grantors, community partners, stakeholders and donors. To maintain that trust, we believe in making publicly available our financial and programmatic information regarding services performed.
  • Equity: We believe in all children receiving the resources and access to services they need to reach their full potential.

Current Situation

The goal of this project is to enhance the work of the KCN as well as inform efforts to provide technical assistance and guidance to local CASA programs on anti-racist and DEI initiatives. Please see the complete project proposal here. By engaging in this process internally, the KCN will be much better equipped to lead by example and assist local programs with developing and implementing policies, procedures, and training plans to meaningfully meet the new NCASA local program and state standards related to DEI (Standards 2 and 3) and NCASA state standards and identify appropriate measures to assess annual progress. It should be noted that the KCN’s leadership and Board of Directors have historically been predominately White. The KCN’s Board of Directors and the NCASA have approved this project plan.

Project Scope

The selected consultant will possess the expertise needed to collaborate with the KCN staff and Board to develop an effective process for assessing KCN’s organizational culture and practices. The below “Reflect, Plan, Implement, Evaluate, and Expand” framework illustrates what the deliverables of this effort could entail. The KCN will defer to the expertise of the consultant in the development of an impactful process, which may or may not include the below steps. 

  • Reflect: With the guidance of the hired consultant, the KCN staff and Board may engage in learning and reflection to authentically examine the organization’s commitment to DEI. This process will account for the influence of other intersectional social categories (e.g., gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, nationality, ability, age, religion, language). Possible deliverables may include trainings, lunch and learns, facilitated dialogues, and/or a formal assessment conducted by the consultant.
  • Plan: Based on the results of the self-reflection and/or assessment, the KCN will seek formal recommendations from the consultant and collaboratively develop an action plan.
  • Implement: The KCN will implement the action plan. A process will be established for tracking “lessons learned” during the implementation phase that can be shared with local programs.
  • Evaluate: With the help of the DEI consultant, the KCN staff and Board will evaluate the success of the action plan and make note of challenges, lessons learned, and suggested adjustments to the plan moving forward.
  • Expand: The KCN may expand its efforts by repeating the “reflect, plan, implement, and evaluate” cycle in order to test strategies and develop best practices over time. Additionally, this work will provide a model of organizational anti-racism and DEI assessment, action planning, and policy/procedure development for the entire Kentucky CASA network that will inform DEI technical assistance and guidance provided to local programs.

Proposed Timeline

The KCN seeks to complete this work during fall and winter 2020 (i.e., September-December 2020).

Proposal Requirements

  • Consultant Information: Provide agency’s name, address, URL, telephone, and fax numbers. Include name, title and e-mail address of the individual who will serve as agency’s primary contact. Include a brief description and history of your agency and the experience of the consultant(s) who are proposed to work on this project.
  • Project Approach: Please explain your project approach, style, and process to accomplish the scope of work outlined above.
  • Experience: Proposals should include a list describing projects that are similar in scale that your firm has completed. Please include at least one in-depth case study that includes a limited number of creative samples. Where possible, highlight work for analogous organizations.
  • Schedule and Budget: Proposals should include the proposed work schedule, timeline, and deliverables and the estimated cost for all work related to tasks and deliverables.
  • Deadline: Please submit your proposal by Friday, August 28 at 5:00 EST to abruns@kentuckycasanetwork.org
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