ERIC Number: ED364356
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Towards Improved Services for Children and Families: Forging New Relationships through Collaboration. A Policy Brief Based on the Annual Symposium of the A. L. Mailman Family Foundation (8th, White Plains, New York, July 1, 1991).
Blank, Martin J.; Lombardi, Joan
This policy brief synthesizes the proceedings of a symposium on children and family services, focusing on elements of successful collaboration among human services agencies. In the first section of the brief, the meaning of collaboration in the family services context is clarified, and ways in which the current focus on collaboration differs from earlier service integration strategies are explored. The next section offers brief descriptions of the Florida State Coordinating Council of Early Childhood Services; the Missouri Caring Communities Program; and the Maryland Children and Family Service Reform Initiative. In the following section, six essential ingredients to improving services through integration are discussed, with reference to the three state programs. These ingredients are: (1) a climate for change, including the realization that a problem exists with some vision for solving it, prior experience with coordinating services, a renewed stimulus for change, and start-up funding; (2) leadership at many levels, including foundation officials, mid-level managers, project directors and staff, and families; (3) flexibility to alter service system structures and delivery methods and adequate financial resources; (4) formal and informal problem-solving structures and mechanisms for dealing with conflict; (5) supportive relationships among partners in the collaborations; and (6) demonstrated and documented results. The final section offers concluding comments on potential pitfalls, needs for information and consensus, and means of replicating success; and discusses future directions for promoting a collaborative approach to improved services. (AC)
Descriptors: Agency Cooperation, Change Strategies, Community Services, Cooperative Planning, Delivery Systems, Early Childhood Education, Educational Improvement, Family Programs, Leadership, Policy Formation, Program Descriptions, Public Policy, Social Services, State Programs
Institute for Educational Leadership, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 310, Washington, DC 20036 ($4.50).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, Inc.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC.