ERIC Number: ED401651
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Multiple Expectations of Community-Based Collaboration: Lessons for Systems Change from Inside-Out.
Ropers-Huilman, Becky; Smithmier, Angela
Some of the provocative issues regarding integrated-service efforts arise from questions about how professional service providers are to go about the business of integrating services. This paper presents findings of a study that examined how street-level bureaucrats negotiate boundaries between the community in which they work and the agencies that employ them. The Community-Based Collaborative for Families (CBCF) is a pseudonym for a neighborhood-based, school-linked services model set in a medium-sized midwestern city. Since 1992 the study examined interactions between the CBCF and two low-income neighborhoods. Interviews were conducted with agency and school administrators, team members, residents, and school-community liaisons; observation; and document review. The study examined how CBCF teams negotiated the boundaries between two positions that were inherently in tension with one another: their "outside" expert status and their status of "inside" service provider. Residents and agency administrators held varied expectations for the CBCF's functioning, while team members themselves differed in their approaches to working with both residents and administrators. Team members shifted their positions or statuses regularly with an awareness of the contexts in which particular decisions and actions were situated. The paper also describes how team members achieved successes despite the contradictory demands. The lessons for systems change from the bottom up point to the promise of communication mechanisms across and within community and agency boundaries; of mechanisms for reflective practice; and of multiple understandings and mutual support. (Contains 14 references.) (LMI)
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 York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).