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American Public Human Services Association
American Public Human Services Association

Vision, Mission and Values

A vision statement describes how the future will look when an agency’s desires and aspirations are realized. Because they encourage people to feel and to dream, effective vision statements help build and sustain motivation, commitment and collaboration. Examples of vision statements include Giving children back their childhood or Open doors for children and youth. The vision statement reminds us why we are all here.

A mission statement describes the particular role an agency plays in realizing that vision. Different parts of a community play different and complementary roles in the lives of children, youth and families. Mission statements clarify what role the agency particularly plays, which also begins to clarify what other roles are needed to achieve the vision. Here is an example of an agency’s mission statement:

The Department of Children, Youth and Family Services will, with our community partners, provide a comprehensive child protection system of prevention, preservation and permanency to ensure that children grow up safe, physically and emotionally healthy, educated and in permanent homes. 
A statement of an agency’s values let employees, partners and those it serves know the underlying behaviors -- the ways we will treat each other -- that are needed and expected to achieve the mission for and with everyone involved. These values tie directly to how an agency would hire, develop and manage the performance of its staff, create an inclusive and fair culture and set healthy boundaries with all of its stakeholders.

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