Word from the Executive Director: HCPS Core Values Published on March 31, 2017 by Christina M. Wright in Word from the ED I am delighted to introduce the new HCPS core values – principles that reflect what is truly important to us, how we go about doing our work and practices we will use in everything we do. As Executive Director, I placed development of these core values as one of my top priorities. It is part of a larger initiative to strategically begin crafting the HCPS culture to better reflect the agency we have become. We were born as a child welfare board with one purpose and have expanded over the past 50 years into an entire county department with more than a dozen programs serving vulnerable adults, children at-risk and abused and neglected children. We need values that bring our staff together to fulfill our vision to better the lives of children and adults in Harris County. We wanted as many blocs of HCPS to help develop these core values, as they are the ones who know most about our needs and our clients’ needs. The HCPS Quality Improvement Team gathered online survey information from staff and the HCPS Board of Directors and formed a group of representatives from across the agency and parent partners. This group reviewed the survey information and past values recommendations to develop five core values: Help – We HELP restore and transform lives. Excellence – We strive for EXCELLENCE in carrying out our mission. Accountability – We hold ourselves ACCOUNTABLE to our clients, our community and to each other. Respect – We show RESPECT for the dignity and worth of every person. Teamwork – We promote TEAMWORK by building trusting relationships. These are values we will live and breathe every day in the workplace, from the caseworkers and support staff to the Executive Director. The community will soon find these declarations posted at all our HCPS buildings. Internally, we will begin training, hiring and evaluating based on these beliefs. In closing, I would like to leave you with a story I sent to staff with the release of our core values: In 1962, President John F. Kennedy visited the NASA Space Center and stopped to speak with a janitor sweeping the floor. In response to the president’s question about what the janitor was doing, he responded, “I’m putting a man on the moon.” To some, this janitor was just cleaning the building. But he saw the bigger picture. He understood he was part of the overall mission. By keeping the facility clean, this man was helping make history. Here’s the point: No matter your role at HCPS, you are contributing to the agency’s mission. And when HCPS embraces that type of attitude and belief system, incredible things can happen.