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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 5, No. 1
April 2000

Fostering Collaboration with Family Support Agencies in Your Community

The first step you should take is to get to know what's going on in your community. Find out what is already going on in terms of cooperation between agencies. If there is not much collaboration with family support agencies, then you might consider:

  • Educating yourself about family support. Learn not only the family support principles, but about what they look like in practice. Learn, too, about the different types of agencies that fall into the family support category.
  • Opening a dialog. Opening communication between agencies is the first step.
  • Organizing monthly meetings. Have planned agendas with input from both sides, and allow time for problem solving.
  • Making site visits. Include site visits to family support/resource agencies for new DSS workers during their training. Invite family support and family resource agency staff to visit DSS.
  • Engaging in cross-training. Use each other's areas of expertise in special issues (e.g., adult mental health, children with special needs).
  • Organizing conferences/workshops together.
  • Making your clients' needs known. Communicate with agencies regarding how their existing services are meeting client needs and how new or revised programs might address other needs.
  • Advocating for each other. Support each other's efforts to increase funding, resources, or community contacts.
  • Having family council representation.

2000 Jordan Institute for Families