ERIC Number: ED368535
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
School-Community Agency Collaboration in Rural Settings.
Hobbs, Beverly B.
A multiple-case study examined how schools and community human-services agencies collaborate to meet the needs of at-risk youth in two rural Oregon counties. Four youth services teams (YST) were composed of approximately 10 members each, representing local public schools, county social and health services agencies, and local law enforcement units. Teams received referrals of high-risk youth, met with each referred student and interested others (parents, school staff, caseworker), and developed an action plan for the student. Observations of YST meetings and interviews with YST members and selected school personnel examined the formation, structure, and outcomes of collaborations. With regard to formation, results indicate that: (1) the presence of a shared problem provided the impetus to collaborate; (2) there was no apparent advantage in having administrators versus direct-service staff act as conveners; and (3) failure to include representatives of all stakeholder groups early in the process led to misunderstandings and frustrations with YST work. Findings with regard to structure were: (1) the failure to clearly define and agree upon objectives, roles, and responsibilities hampered YST efforts; (2) the education sector supplied most of the leadership and administrative support; (3) one organization typically served as the "fixer" to facilitate the process of collaboration; and (4) an organization's inkind contribution of personnel was often, in reality, an individual's contribution of personal time. Outcomes included improved communication between schools and community agencies, and increased access to community services for at-risk youth. (Author/SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).