BLOG: Re-Imagining Our Impact

At CUPS, we are innovators and trailblazers in our sector. Over the past 30 years we have moved from a traditional charity model to a become a science-based organization that is defining a new approach to the social challenges of poverty and trauma. As a result of this shift, in both culture and practice, CUPS is rethinking how we can use the data we collect to demonstrate how we combine research, policy, and practice to help Calgarians build resilience and consolidate knowledge about “what works”.

Integrated Care is a person-centered service delivery approach based on the multi-dimensional needs of an individual. This approach is delivered by a multidisciplinary team of professionals that coordinate care across services and programs. At CUPS, integrated care means that clients receive streamlined access to our services and supports based on their needs, assets, and priorities. This change in service delivery is rooted in the science of building healthy brains and resilience. Our work aims to dive deeper into all aspects of the individual and prevent them from needing to re-accessing services and supports moving forward. While Integrated care requires significant resources to develop personalized care plans with tailored interventions we believe that this approach will truly begin to move the needle on poverty and trauma for our clients.

Outputs, outcomes, and impact. It is important that as an agency we are able to show our impact. Outputs measure the “what” of a program while outcomes measure the “why”. For example, when we say how many individuals were housed, this number is an output that does not give a holistic picture of the impact of our housing programs. However, when we say what percentage of individuals were able to maintain housing, we are using an outcome to understand the success of the housing program. Reporting outcomes demonstrates how CUPS’ programs and services have an impact in the lives of individuals and families.

We are helping Calgarians build resilience in four domains:


At CUPS, we focus on strategies that lead to lasting change, working with partners who are also interested in shaping better outcomes for generations to come.

Written by: Kirsten Boda, Master of Public Policy and passionate about exploring solutions to complex social issues.