Fem Dems Family Moving Forward Together: A Summary and Next Steps from the Family Caregiver Survey
By Mary McCune, Pipeline Program Director
In March 2017, the Fem Dems of Sacramento released a family caregiver survey to its membership and community supporters in order to learn more about the various commitments of our members and to better shape our future programming and events to those diverse schedules.
The survey was six questions in length and was purposely short in nature to allow parents and caregivers to effectively provide feedback to the organization in five minutes or less. The questions were:
What accommodations can Fem Dems provide at future events to better serve our parent members?
If you have children, how many do you have + age ranges
What is the top barrier preventing you from participating in Fem Dems events?
If childcare is not provided at events, what, if any other, accommodations would enable you to come out to events?
What programming would you like to see in the future?
The survey was published as a featured post on the Fem Dems Facebook page for one month and was also circulated to the membership directly via newsletter. The Fem Dems received 13 responses. From these responses the Fem Dems have developed a strategic plan to be more inclusive of members with family caregiver needs with 3 concrete actions under one thematic goal – variety:
1. Variety in event scheduling
An overwhelming amount of responses illustrated the unique needs of family caregivers, especially those with young children. The majority of these parents noted that they were usually unable to attend happy hours or general meetings due to dinner and bedtime schedules. Some members also noted a difficulty in attending events that were held in various locations, specifying a preference to a standard location.
FEM DEMS ACTION
In response, the Fem Dems will focus on creating events that are held at times more conducive to these types of schedules. Examples provided were events after 7pm and on the weekends.
2. Variety in programming
Respondents also provided feedback on the types of programming they would like Fem Dems to host in the future. Suggested topics included workshops on how to get women involved in politics and issues facing mothers (school quality, bullying, raising confident daughters). We also received feedback that programming focused on issues women in later stages in life are facing, such as retirement and aging parent caregiving responsibilities.
FEM DEMS ACTION
The Fem Dems will use this feedback to start to collaborate with existing parent groups to develop occasional programming and social events targeted to parents that are family-friendly. We will also look into workshops focused on the various challenges women face in all stages of life.
3. Variety in accommodations
Survey results also suggested that Fem Dems events be more family and kid-friendly. Specific suggestions included re-evaluating the types of venues social activities are held in and clearly describing whether events are “family friendly” in social media. Members also cited a difficulty in obtaining transportation to events.
FEM DEMS ACTION
Moving forward, the Fem Dems will be mindful of the venues for social programs, balancing the convenience for young professionals working in Downtown while also making sure to hold some events in locations that are family-friendly. Events that are hosted at family-friendly venues will be clearly advertised as such. Kid-friendly food and activities will be provided as the budget permits. The Fem Dems are also currently looking into childcare accommodations for future programming events. Apps and websites that organize carpools are also being researched.
Inclusion is a continual process and does not happen overnight. We hope that this survey serves as the beginning of a continual conversation and welcome feedback from all members at anytime. If you have additional suggestions on how the Fem Dems can continue to become more family friendly please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fem Dems Executive Board