Why is collaboration a priority area for CBCAP?
The CBCAP Program Instruction (PI) states, “Given the limited funding available for prevention services, lead agencies are strongly encouraged to find ways to partner with other public and private organizations serving the same populations and sharing the same goals and objectives.”
By finding ways to partner with other organizations, we’re able to better address the systems that impact families and to increase positive outcomes, reduce duplication of services, and prevent child abuse and neglect. CBCAP prioritizes collaboration – defined as two or more agencies working together – to help maximize the use of limited prevention dollars. Working with cross-sector partners who have a vested interest in child abuse prevention, states and communities can improve service delivery systems and increase the effectiveness of programs.
With whom should CBCAP programs collaborate?
Attachment 4 of the PI describes programs for potential coordination and collaboration with CBCAP. Lead agencies might also think about the landscape of their communities and explore partnership opportunities with businesses, faith-based organizations, public schools, and higher education, and parents are essential collaborative partners!
An increasing number of community and state-level organizations are working together to improve supports for families. Child Abuse Prevention and Child Welfare: Collaborating for Creative Solutions is a resource that can help CBCAP Leads in their efforts. It describes federal legislation and guidance that address collaboration, identifies common ground between prevention and child welfare entities, provides strategies to strengthen collaborative efforts, and features six states that are demonstrating leadership in improving family-serving systems.
What does collaboration in CBCAP mean?
The most effective way to meet the challenge of preventing child abuse and neglect is for all child abuse prevention and treatment programs, public and private, to work together in partnership. By working with families and other disciplines such as social services, health, and mental health, substance abuse treatment services, domestic violence, child care, early childhood, education, law enforcement, and other advocacy groups in the community to achieve their common goals. (See statement in CBCAP Program Instruction)
Collaboration in CBCAP means finding intersections and looking for creative ways to connect, share resources, and collaborate across programs and sectors. This means occasionally working with unlikely partners and always being willing to think differently.
How does collaboration tie into the efforts of CBCAP to move along the continuum of evidence-based and evidence-informed practice?
Evidence-based and evidence-informed programs and practices are integral to prevention. So are partnerships. Research shows that when agencies work together there are all kinds of positive outcomes- for the agencies, for their clients, and for the communities they serve. Collaboration is not about directing the work of individual partners – it’s about aligning efforts to move quickly and more effectively toward the common goal of eliminating child abuse and neglect.
There are evidence-informed collaboration practices. Use the Collective Impact toolkit to find the resources and support you need to create collaboration that enhances your evidenced-based and evidence-informed practices.
What options are available to support CBCAP Lead Agencies in developing or maintaining collaborations?
The Collaboration Toolkit has been designed as a user-friendly reference to challenge your thinking and support your progress around collaboration. Please refer to the toolkit to learn more about the ten elements that encompass Collective Impact and enhance collaborative efforts.
Individual Technical Assistance and Support
Contact your FRIENDS’ T/TA Coordinator if you would like to learn more about the training and technical assistance that is available to strengthen collaborative relationships among your State Lead Agency’s partners and stakeholders.
Please look for additional opportunities to share resources and learn from other State Lead Agencies. Monthly Peer Learning Calls, the Annual Grantees’ Meeting, the FRIENDS’ website, webinars, and other venues will regularly provide additional information and opportunities for peer sharing.