What Do We Mean by Hope?

We were recently asked what we meant when we used the words hope and change. Which is a great question.

When we say we are measuring hope, what we are hoping to capture is whether or not people believe that something can actually change within the foster care system, and whether they see any evidence that it is changing.

When we think about building hope in a system, we think about people who are driving to work with the feeling that, despite numerous obstacles, they are actually making a difference for families. We want to sit in meetings and hear people talk about problems with an air of opportunity instead of resignation. Creativity instead of ambivalence.

We dream of a system full of people who see that something isn’t working well and immediately start thinking of ways to do it better. More importantly, not only will people have ideas, but they will have the courage and organizational support to actually try them.

Are we foolish? Maybe. In all honestly, some days we do feel crazy to keep working this hard on something so daunting, especially given such limited time and resources. But we just can’t seem to walk away. Because at the end of the day, we would rather try foolishly than quit fearfully.