Once the team has decided on their shared values, a developing MDT might formalize its purpose by creating vision and mission statements. These statements are short explanations of the MDT’s intent for and specific contribution towards the community they serve. They serve to both communicate your purpose to outsiders and to provide a guide that keeps the MDT on track in its work.
How do we develop vision and mission statements?
The vision statement explains what kind of community you hope to create or the change you hope to generate. A mission statement specifies how this MDT will contribute to this vision. One strategy is to use fill-in-the-blank sentences to provide an opportunity for individual team members to contribute their ideas, highlight the words or key phrases that are motivational and accurate, then allow the wordsmiths in your group to edit the final statements.
An effective vision statement concisely describes the change you wish to create for your community. It can speak specifically to vulnerable adults or to the whole population of the community. It can speak to the desired outcome as a whole, rather than focusing on a single aspect of service.
Assume that in ten years, your MDT is highly successful. What is the “big picture” change that has happened?
Our vision is a community where . . .
We envision a community in which . . .
Example: We envision a caring community in which all older adults live with dignity and well-being, free from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. (NYC Elder Abuse Center, nycea.org)
A Mission Statement defines the specific contribution this MDT makes to achieving its vision and reflects the overall purpose of this relationship among allied professionals.
The mission statement provides guidance for the MDT in organizing its work and defines its function in terms that others can understand. It should include the target population or issue, as well as the area it serves. One option is to state what your MDT does for either individuals within your target population or for your community at large.
The X County MDT exists to __________ the lives of vulnerable adults by __________.
The X County MDT convenes allied professionals to __________.
Our MDT serves the vulnerable adults of X County by __________.
The Vision and Mission Statements can be linked in one paragraph: Our vision is a community where __________. To bring that vision into reality, we __________ for __________ in the __________ (geographic service area).
Example: The NYC Elder Abuse Center aims to prevent abuse and assist people 60 and over who are abused or at risk of abuse—as well as their family members, friends, and neighbors. We do this by helping to improve how professionals, organizations, and systems respond to their needs—and by developing services to meet unmet needs. (NYC Elder Abuse Center, nycea.org)
Finally, remember that it is a good idea to periodically revisit the mission statement to assess how well it is working for your MDT and to address any mission drift that might have evolved.
Examples of mission statements can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/4-building-strong-foundation A worksheet for developing vision and mission statements can be found here: https://protectadults.sog.unc.edu/elder-protection-resources#mdt-tools-ca...
In developing this post, Margaret Henderson and Rebekah Appleton relied on resources contained within the Department of Justice MDT Toolkit, chapter 4, and the School of Government’s website, protectadults.sog.unc.edu