Our Provider Partners: Part I
Working with our Partner Providers to respond to the highest rates of diaper need our community has ever seen
Who are WestSide Baby’s “Provider Partners”?
WestSide Baby envisions a day when all children are equipped with the basic items they need to grow into healthy, happy, and resilient members of our community. In order to do that, WestSide Baby partners with more than 100 social service agencies and 400+ agency workers throughout King County to provide essential items to local children free of charge.
WestSide Baby’s 2020 Provider Partner Program by Focus Area:
Our partners span multiple disciplines and social service sectors including public health, social work, food security, domestic violence, early learning, infant mental health, and more.
Why is this distribution model important?
Research supports that the agency partnership model has many positive implications for both the partner agencies and the recipients including increased communication between providers and clients, client program retention, and connection to other services—all of which ultimately contribute to lasting, positive outcomes for families.
In our own provider survey in January 2021, 97% report that providing basic needs items from WestSide Baby to their clients helps build trust between provider and client, and 85% report that providing basic needs items to their clients improves program retention.
Additionally, 97% of providers report providing basic needs items from WestSide Baby to their clients improves overall child happiness and wellbeing.
How does it work?
Our provider partners request items for their clients through an online ordering system. WestSide Baby staff and volunteers fill orders for the requested basic items such as diapers, car seats, and clothing to ensure children have the items they need to be safe, warm and dry.
Once the requests are filled, our incredible partners pick the items up from WestSide Baby’s Hub or South Lake Union Branch*, and then deliver them to the children and families they serve in every corner of the county.
*As of March 2021, we are only distributing items at our White Center Hub.
How do we select partners?
WestSide Baby has several provider partners who have been with us since our founding in the West Seattle area of King County in 2001. Since then, our services have expanded to partners in every corner of Western King County, which is why our name remains “WestSide Baby”.
In 2020, in service of our vision and our commitment to equity, WestSide Baby began a new agency selection process to ensure we were meeting families facing disproportionate diaper need in our community. The agency selection process uses an equity lens to evaluate potential partners on the following criteria: a strong mission/vision alignment, a commitment to serve communities that face disproportionate need, and the ability to provide culturally relevant services and directly engage with communities most impacted by the program.
This process continued in 2020, even as we pivoted to our Rapid Response work, which included providing one-time emergency services to any agency that expressed need, and providing bulk diaper allocations to several community access points, including Seattle Public Schools resources sites and Seattle House Authority properties.
By the end of 2020, WestSide Baby had partnered with over 150 agency partner sites including our 9 new ongoing partner providers: East African Community Services, API Chaya, West African Community Council, Partners in Employment, Rainier Valley Midwives, Friends of the Children Seattle, Solid Ground JourneyHome Rapid Re-housing Program, Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club Safety Net Program, and Southeast Youth & Family Services.
Stay tuned for Part II of this blog series later this month highlighting one of our newest partner providers: Friends of the Children Seattle!
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