Greetings from the NASCSP Staff and Happy Holidays. The CSBG Network had a wonderful year and as we move into 2016, we expect to continue on the path of excellence in alleviating poverty. As a part of a CSBG network that includes over 1,000 agencies across the nation that are dedicated to fighting poverty in a variety of ways, we are proud of the work that our network has done in the past year. We are encouraged by the fact that our United States Government recognizes the value in our program, as President Obama has signed the 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill that increases CSBG spending from $673.6 million to $714.9 million, a funding increase of 41 million dollars. In addition to increased funding in 2016, our network can also look forward to the roll out of ROMA Next Generation (ROMA NG).

ROMA NG aims to move ROMA to a new level that will push CSBG forward and strengthen Community Action over the next 5-10 years.  Just as ROMA 1.0 has served Community Action well for over twenty years, our new version must help the field flourish at all levels. ROMA NG is focused on:

  1. Strengthening the performance management culture of Community Action in order to support OCS, States, and CAAs use performance data to achieve greater stability and self-sufficiency for individuals, families, and communities.
  2. Utilizing more robust data analysis techniques in order to help agencies more effectively connect people and distressed communities with the services needed to achieve desired outcomes.
  3. Providing local agencies and states with a better understanding of which services yield the best outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
  4. Ensuring that agencies and states are using their limited resources effectively in order to achieve Community Action’s long-term goals.

Since 2012, NASCSP has worked to build a solid foundation for ROMA Next Generation. This work included over 30 listening sessions across the country, as well as numerous documents, presentations, and webinars to engage states and local entities on the process. In the past year, representatives of the various levels of the CSBG Network came together to form the ROMA NG workgroup. This ROMA NG Workgroup was comprised of representatives from the Office of Community Services (OCS), the National Partners (NASCSP, NCAF, CAPLAW, ANCRT, and the Community Action Partnership), State CSBG Offices (California, Iowa, North Carolina, and Utah), Community Action Agencies (California, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, and Washington), State Associations (Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Missouri), as well as consultants and facilitators.

The ROMA New Generation workgroup assisted with various aspects of updating and finalizing the items that make up ROMA Next Generation package. These items include: the National ROMA Goals, National Theory of Change, Family/Individual Level National Performance Indicators, Community Level National Performance Indicators, People Characteristic/Demographics, List of Services, and the Training and Technical Assistance Plan. The hard work of the workgroup, our partners, and colleagues has enabled us to come begin the process of finalizing each piece of ROMA NG.

After years of preparation, ROMA Next Generation will be presented to the CSBG Network in the beginning of the New Year. This rollout of the ROMA NG will begin on January 6th, 2016, at the Community Action Partnership 2016 Management and Leadership Training Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event will be followed in the coming weeks by a series of webinars that will be focused on the new changes to ROMA and allow opportunity for NASCSP to obtain feedback from the Network. We are very excited about all of the new things to come within the CSBG Network and look forward to seeing you in New Orleans. Happy New Year!