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Fostering Public/Private Partnerships/ Strengthening Families 2010 Children’s Bureau Discretionary Grantees Meeting. Ken DeCerchio Crystal Collins-Camargo Rita Sullivan and Partners. A Program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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Fostering Public/Private Partnerships/Strengthening Families2010 Children’s Bureau Discretionary Grantees Meeting

Ken DeCerchio

Crystal Collins-Camargo

Rita Sullivan and Partners


A Program of the

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

and the

Administration on Children, Youth and Families

Children’s Bureau

Office on Child Abuse and Neglect

why partner
Why Partner ?
  • Needs of families are more complex and require multiple system responses
  • Achieve better outcomes
  • Broaden the base of community support
  • Maximize existing and generate additional resources
  • Sustainability
tools for partnerships

Tools for Partnerships

The 10 Elements of System Linkages

and Models of Collaboration

10 element framework of systems linkages
10-Element Framework of Systems Linkages
  • Method to organize collaborative activities in specific practice and policy areas
    • Defines key elements of collaboration
    • Describes components of an initiative
  • Provides systematic way to assess effectiveness of collaborative work
    • Assists in measuring their implementation
    • Helps assess progress in building stronger cross-systems linkages and where those linkages are most effective
the regional partnership grant rpg program

The Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) Program

Cross-systems partnerships designed to improve the safety, permanency and well-being of children affected by parental substance use



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Administration for Children and Families

NCSACW In-Depth Technical Assistance Sites

Children’s Bureau Regional Partnership Grants

OJJDP Family Drug Courts

14 OJJDP Sites

NCSACW IDTA Sites = 20 Sites

16 States (NE & KY Pending)

3 Tribal Communities

1 County

lessons from the rpg program

Lessons from the RPG Program

Successes and Challenges of Cross-Systems Collaborations (Year Two)

collaborative relationships key themes lessons
Collaborative Relationships – Key Themes/Lessons
  • Collaboration takes time and is developmental and iterative in nature
  • Collaboration needs to occur at multiple levels
    • Front-line and larger systems levels
    • State and local levels
  • Importance of oversight and feedback structures (e.g., advisory boards, steering committees)
    • Provide leadership, direction, problem-solving
    • Continually review project goals and progress
    • Address emerging or specific issues
collaborative relationships key themes lessons1
Collaborative Relationships – Key Themes/Lessons

Fundamentals of successful collaboration and active engagement of partners include:

  • Alignment of project and partner goals
  • Communication of concrete benefits to prospective partners
  • Ability to integrate the collaborative’s work into existing efforts or infrastructures
  • Clarification, understanding and agreement on roles, responsibilities and processes
  • Ongoing communication (all levels), reporting and monitoring
    • Establishing relationships is an event, maintaining relationships is a process
collaborative relationships key themes lessons2
Collaborative Relationships – Key Themes/Lessons

Development and strengthening of collaborative relationships is facilitated by:

  • Cross-systems communication on client progress (e.g., joint case staffing or case conferences, team decision making)
  • Cross-systems training on both:
    • The broad array of clinical issues affecting shared clients
    • Program and policy issues impacting how each system operates
  • Intensive, targeted and multi-faceted community outreach:
    • Presentations to partners; convening of community forums
    • Involvement on other local advisory boards or steering groups
    • Value of routine and regular in-person contact and dedicated person or position to conduct outreach
sustainability key themes lessons
Sustainability – Key Themes/Lessons

Key Elements of Sustainability include:

  • Strong collaborative relationships
  • Engaging key stakeholders – in particular, State leadership
  • Promoting awareness of the RPG program and communicating its results/outcomes
  • Linking and aligning RPG program to CFSR and PIP goals
  • Building capacity at the local level (for large-scale, multi-site initiatives)
  • Making sustainability an explicit program objective
  • Having a designated body or structure (e.g., task force, subcommittee) to focus on sustainability
  • DATA
getting better at getting along four stages of collaboration
Getting Better at Getting Along: Four Stages of Collaboration


The System


The Rules

External Funding

Existing Funding





Sid Gardner, 1996

Beyond Collaboration to Results

what have we learned about public private partnership across the country

What Have We Learned about Public/Private Partnership Across the Country?

Crystal Collins-Camargo, MSW PhD

Director, National Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare Services

University of Louisville

funded by the children s bureau qic pcw has the following goals
Funded by the Children’s Bureau, QIC PCW has the Following Goals
  • To promote and support an evidence-based and outcomes-focused approach to child welfare system development and organizational improvement.
  • To facilitate a collaborative information-sharing and problem-solving national network among subgrantees, the Children’s Bureau’s training and technical assistance network, public child welfare agencies, private service providers, and other stakeholders.
  • To build consensus on appropriate models of reform, the respective roles and responsibilities of public and private agencies, and to provide input on areas on which the child welfare policy and evaluation fields should focus.
our work has focused on the continuum of public private partnership
Our Work Has Focused on the Continuum of Public/Private Partnership
  • In all states, child welfare occurs through partnership between the public and private sectors—it is only a matter of degree
  • Focus of the QIC PCW is two-fold
    • Research and Demonstration Projects on the impact of innovative performance-based contracting and quality assurance systems on organizational, practice and client outcomes
    • Facilitating national dialogue on enhancing the nature and functioning of the partnership

Collaborative Research Is Designed to Promote Usable Evidence in the Real World of Public/Private Partnership for Widespread Dissemination and Sustainability

Like the Family Connections


Source: Gredig, D. and Summerfeld, P. (2008). New Proposals for Generating and Exploiting Solution-Oriented Knowledge. Research on Social Work Practice, 18.

three national summits on public private partnership
Three National Summits on Public/Private Partnership
  • QIC funds the public CW Administrator and a representative of the private sector to attend an annual working meeting
  • Most of the time is spent in structured, facilitated roundtable discussions
  • Qualitative analysis of themes across states
  • Significant participation nationwide
    • 2007 Chicago: 133 participants from 31 states*
    • 2008 Lexington: 122 from 30 states
    • 2009 St. Louis: 124 from 27 states
    • 2010 San Antonio—stay tuned!
roundtable discussion centers on challenges and successful strategies
Roundtable Discussion Centers on Challenges and Successful Strategies
  • Partnership in the real world of CW
  • Making performance based contracts yield the outcomes we want
  • Making QA/QI systems get us where we want to go
  • Authentic engagement and partnership amid the contractual relationship
  • Strengthening partnership to improve service quality
  • Use of task groups to overcome challenges
  • Creating shared vision
  • Developing partnerships that persevere
  • Using technology to move CW forward
  • Building partnerships that will affect systems change
partnerships in the real world
Partnerships in the Real World


Successful Strengths & Strategies

  • Trust
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Funding
  • Capacity
  • Historical relationships
  • Expertise
  • Respect and Trust among Partnership
  • Shared Vision
  • Flexibility and Advocacy of Private Sector
  • System Improvement
  • Engaging the Community
  • Taking Advantage of Diverse Perspectives
recommended steps to partnership development
Recommended Steps to Partnership Development
  • Create change to build partnership
    • Culture change
    • Leadership
  • Acknowledge lessons learned
  • Enhance the workforce together
  • Advocate together
  • Continue communication throughout
  • Modify contracting processes together to promote performance and accountability
authenticity amid contractual relationships
Authenticity Amid Contractual Relationships

Elements of Authentic Relationship


  • Honest and continuous communication
  • Accountability and shared risk
  • Collaboration with shared vision
  • Predictability
  • Trust across levels
  • Supportive environment
    • Cross-training
    • Professionalism
    • Assistance in crises
    • Inclusiveness in developing new initiatives
  • Consistency and follow-through
partnerships that persevere over time
Partnerships that Persevere Over Time


Successful Strategies

  • Leadership change
  • Fiscal crisis
  • External mandates
  • Partnership does not involve both management and frontline
  • Conflict between mission and viable business
  • Bureaucracy
  • Tension and competition within private sector
  • Recognize we can’t do it alone—engage in cross-system collaboration
  • Transparent communication
  • Use data to evaluate the partnership and performance
  • Shared success
  • Transcend personal relationships to protocols
an important task in our collective work is ongoing dissemination
An Important Task in Our Collective Work is Ongoing Dissemination
  • Begin developing the network for multi-audience dissemination from day one
  • Modeling the role of data and narrative
    • Don’t overstep what interim data tells you
    • Include both quantitative information and real stories
  • Using cross-partnership teams effectively
    • Public/private partner writing and presentation teams
    • Mixing practitioners with researchers, administrators with frontline/supervisory staff
    • This partnership is key to delivering the right message in the right places
  • Joint dissemination is critical to sustainability and ability to replicate in your state and beyond once discretionary funding ends
ontrack s family connections project a public private partnership to heal families

OnTrack’s Family Connections project: a public-private partnership to heal families

Rita Sullivan, Ph.D. On-Track Inc.

Hon. Patricia Crain, Circuit Court

Pam Bergreen, Child Welfare

deliberate and strategic collaboration to
  • Achieve what we knew could not be realized in isolation.
  • This has required not an inward view, which we have all been paid to do – to look at how we survive to reach our goals. Instead, we have looked outward and found the power of working together.
old collaboration
  • For years “collaboration” was almost an impediment…it actually felt as if it got in the way of achieving the goals we set out to achieve.
  • Historically, these collaborations were too often nothing more than loose affiliations or new relationships.
new collaboration
  • Today I will describe for you our approach, which integrates the work of public and private entities to become a real partnership – one in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • This is a collaboration that is improving outcomes, maximizing current funding and leading to long term sustainability.
the partnership

Public agencies:

  • Child Welfare
  • The Courts (Dependency)
  • Public Defender and District Attorney
  • Commission on Children and Families

Private agencies:

  • OnTrack Inc.
  • Family Nurturing Center
  • CASA
  • Center for Non Profit Legal Services
two federal grants


The Early Entry Grant


The Family Connections grant

our system of care is predicated on the notion that
Our system of care is predicated on the notion that

Parents who can enter treatment more quickly and who are supported by the court, child welfare and treatment systems during their substance abuse treatment, are more likely to successfully complete treatment and remain with, or be reunified with, their children.

two overarching goals
  • Front end: Implement services that will allow our Child Welfare staff and judges to keep children safely together without any period of removal.
  • Family Connections: If children must be removed, keep the biological parents substantively involved in the child’s life while learning to be good parents.
front end efforts to keep families together
Front-end efforts to keep families together
  • Treatment specialists go out with Child Welfare workers.
  • In collaboration, Child Welfare and Treatment staff develop a service plan.
  • Staff attend shelter hearings and ask the judge to support the plan.
services include
  • Emergency housing
  • Home treatment beds
  • Case management
  • Mental Health
  • Bonding and attachment services
  • Partners in Parenting
  • Parenting Time Center
  • Reconnecting Families
  • Child development assessment/services
  • Full array of clinical and support services
initially collaborations can challenge us
  • We all struggle with territory, relationships with donors, organizational culture and our own biases.
  • True collaboration requires a change of focus from trying to grow an individual organization to focusing on solving a shared social concern or need.
we have learned
  • Although it took me almost 30 years, I no longer see collaborations as posing a threat to my organization; I now recognize that it is, in fact, in my organization’s best interest to collaborate so that --
first step
  • You have to have a problem all of those involved with fight for.
  • For us, it was to improve permanency outcomes for children.
  • This led to the development of common outcomes, which we cannot achieve without everyone’s input.
second form a steering committee
  • Must be composed of top level staff who can make needed system changes and find ways to remove or move around barriers to accomplish outcomes.
  • Must represent all partners contributing to the outcomes, whether paid for in the grant or not, and with equality.
  • Cannot overstress the importance of this, because --
third need support at all levels
  • Managers cannot only make decisions, but are connected to, and can influence:
  • Very importantly, they can disseminate data, which is required to keep local and statewide partners interested and moving the project forward.
  • Demonstrating progress toward outcomes empirically is the best motivator we know to keep high level management engaged.
cross pollination
  • We all know the power in others carrying your message for you.
  • This allows us to reach multiple constituent groups at multiple levels.
our permanency work happened at the right time

Confluence of factors, including:

  • Oregon’s Child Safety Model
  • New leadership in DHS and state Child Welfare Division
  • Two of Southern Oregon’s legislative delegation were in powerful leadership positions.
  • We have an incredible Bench.
  • We have an incredible Child Welfare branch.
the right time
  • We have a very high placement rate.
  • We have a very high substance abuse rate.
  • We have core resources which could be expanded and enriched.
  • The Community Family Court reinforces our efforts.
perhaps most significantly
  • We have long term relationships within these partnerships
  • HOME and DADS
  • Whole Family
  • Emergency Housing/Permanent Housing
  • KOBI Channel 5 started the Southern Oregon Meth Project, which won a national broadcaster’s award for community service.
  • The station has invested extensive resources into creating and broadcasting messages that align with and promote our goals.
  • KOBI matched us for every spot we bought to get the message out in general, and to recruit for Partners in Parenting.
  • The station placed spots at the best times possible (i.e., during the Olympics) and committed the best talent to the project.
foster care staff
  • Were committed to family-centric care before the grant.
  • Have embraced Partners in Parenting as a universal model for the practice of foster care for all children.
  • Understand that child outcomes are dramatically improved when families are preserved or reunited as soon as safety concerns permit.
judicial support
  • Our judges were an insulated and neutral 3rd party until treatment courts allowed them to step out of the box.
  • This paved the way for our permanency efforts. Our judges would not have felt as comfortable participating if treatment courts had not provided an experience wherein their roles were very different from those in traditional courts.
  • The treatment courts were a prerequisite that allowed judges to become team players in this project.
judicial support1
  • In order for our efforts at remaking systems to work, we have to give the judges the service options required to implement new practices under new philosophies.
  • They have to be willing to “force” system change…and are in the position to do it.
district attorneys
  • Working on clinical solutions with us in Court at first appearances.
  • Steering Committee member.
  • Contribute solutions to legal “barriers.”
public defenders
  • Immediately recognized the value in this process for their clients.
  • Helped craft policies and practices that protected clients, while moving system changes forward.
  • Joined the Steering Committee.
systems change
  • The entire team committed to generalizing these best practices throughout the system of care.
outstanding outcomes
  • As a result of these efforts, foster care placements in Jackson County have dropped from an average of 450 children in care at any given time (2005-2006) to 225-235 children currently.
  • This phenomenal reduction has been accomplished without increases in case escalations or re-openings.
state level public partners
  • Demonstration of initial outcomes has generated strong interest from Oregon state legislators and Child Welfare officials.
  • Local legislative leaders have convened project partners and other community interests in a monthly roundtable to address long term state funding/service realignment.
how do you judge success
How do you judge success?
  • Healthy families
  • Continued movement toward family models
  • System change
  • Reduction in intergenerational transmission
  • Long term sustainability
  • What is the public/private partnership enabling you to accomplish that probably would not have been possible within your agency?
  • How can your public/private partnership support your sustainability strategies, particularly in this economic environment?
  • How are you evaluating the effectiveness of the collaboration in your public/private partnerships?
contact information
Contact Information

Ken DeCerchio

Crystal Collins Camargo

Rita Sullivan