Staff Spotlight: Meet Nathan Roggenbaum

West Michigan Partnership for Children’s (WMPC) Director of Performance and Quality Improvement, Nathan Roggenbaum, enjoys the challenges of his role while managing a team of dedicated individuals. Nathan is responsible for overseeing the quality improvement plan for Kent County’s foster care system.

Based on the experience from his previous role of working in the public sector in London, England, Nathan benefits from the creative freedom of a nonprofit organization.

“The trust and freedom given to me from the executive leadership team has given me cause to reevaluate my expectations and set the bar higher for myself and what my team can achieve in the next year,” he said.

Continue reading to learn more about Nathan:

What is your role at WMPC? What are your responsibilities in this role?
My role at WMPC is Director of Performance and Quality Improvement. I am responsible for developing and overseeing the continuous quality improvement plan for Kent County’s foster care system. This entails developing methods to measure performance and evaluate the impact of our foster care programs. I also manage a brilliant and dedicated Performance and Quality Improvement team!

What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Improving the lives of children in foster care is by far the most rewarding part about my job. Integrating the use of data into business helps strengthen decision-making at case, management, and strategic levels. When data and practice effectively influence each other, there is transformational potential for how services are delivered to children and families.

On the flip side, what is the most challenging part about your job?
The most challenging aspect of my job is the complexity of performance and quality improvements. We interface with numerous IT systems and stakeholders in a continuously changing environment. Successfully navigating and influencing these systems is key to my job, but also always a challenge. An enjoyable challenge, though!

As a brand new start-up, what inspired you to want to work for WMPC?
WMPC is over a year old now! The vision, mission, and values of WMPC are what initially caught my eye. They resonate with me on a professional and personal level. Personally, it is important that I work in an environment that makes decisions based on evidence and then uses that evidence to further social justice. WMPC embodies important social values and has high aspirations to make meaningful impacts on the foster care system in Kent County.

What is one thing you wish people knew about foster care?
I wish the general public had a better understanding of how complex the foster care system is. The system is not always easy for children, families, or foster caregivers to navigate. Children coming into foster care have usually suffered trauma, and they need people-focused plans and services. Even when things go well, improving the outcome for children can be difficult due to the suffered trauma.

How has your position at WMPC and your experience in the nonprofit industry changed your perspective?
For most of my career I have worked in the public sector in London, England. While there are benefits to working in the public sector, working for a small nonprofit organization such as WMPC allows for more creative freedom.

Since moving into this new role, I have been given the ‘green light’ to adjust internal processes and revamp the continuous improvement plan for Kent County’s foster care system. The trust and freedom from WMPC’s Executive Leadership Team has given me cause to set the bar higher for myself and what my team can achieve in the next year.

What is your hope for WMPC and the Kent County foster care system?   
I hope that Kent County’s foster care system continually improves. I would like to implement digital tools that would give children and families more influence in the decisions made about their lives. I believe it would shape the strategic direction of foster care in Kent County.  

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I think it is important to note that we, at WMPC, have amazing relationships with the private foster care agencies, public institutions, and Kent County’s nonprofit community. The community has been supportive, and these relationships enable us to do our work effectively!

To get in touch with Nathan, please email: nroggenbaum@wmpc.care

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