The most common cases of interagency collaboration typically involve child welfare. “Interagency collaboration in systems of childcare is ‘the process of agencies and families joining together for the purpose of interdependent problem solving that focuses on improving services to children and families’” (Hodges, Nesman, & Hernandez, 1999, p.8). For decades, many working in child welfare policy and practice have recognized that the children and families served by the child welfare system have needs that are linked to their home, community, and school environments. In addition, children and families often have emotional, health, and legal needs. The widespread needs of children in welfare rely on interagency collaboration in order for these programs to operate efficiently.
Another case of interagency collaboration that also relates to children applies to children with special needs. In the 1960s and 1970s individual agencies managed the services for young children with disabilities. In the 1980s, interagency collaboration was integrated in the field of mental health and various state and federal groups began working together to provide the best care and services for these children. “Although public and private agencies exist in virtually every urban and rural community, resources may be distributed unevenly across the state. The major federal and state requirements for services to young children with disabilities are included in programs mandated under IDEA 2004, including Part B, ages three to twenty-one, and Part C, early intervention for the special education system” (Sadao, pg 45). Interagency collaboration became a driving force among disability programs not only for children but adults as well.
Another practical implementation of integrative collaboration occurs in most workplaces. Any successful company must rely on integrative collaboration in order to successfully run an efficient and profitable company. A quality of a great leader is one’s ability to recognize their faults or weaknesses- when those are identified, integrative collaboration can be applied to help the company run more smoothly. “It has been shown that client and worker relationships are enhanced when all stakeholders working with a family are communicating effectively with one another providing a seamless service to the family without the family having the responsibility to keep workers up to date, fill in gaps or repeat their stories” (Friedman et al. 2007; Spath et al. 2008).
The government is a huge organization that relies on interagency collaboration. Without cooperation from numerous different branches of government, agreement throughout the House and the Senate, and especially without interagency collaboration in regards to foreign affairs, the United States government would fall apart. Research has identified the importance of having “strong and competent leadership” (Jones et al. 2007, p. 65; Spath et al. 2008) in agencies that work closely with other agencies, for which the ongoing responsibility for professional development of those in charge is required. Although interagency collaboration within the United States is probably the most difficult to achieve, it is one of the most integral places where interagency collaboration is required.
Another case of interagency collaboration occurs within the workplace, but rather than being corporate related, this collaboration is between worker and worker. “The relationship workers from different agencies have with one another can be enhanced; when communication includes perceptions of who has the ‘lead’”(Garrett, 2004), particularly when joint initiatives or projects are being implemented.
If I were the director of a public health organization, I would try to utilize interagency collaboration to the best of my ability. An organizations ability to work well with its partners as well as its competitors is a vital part of surviving in the corporate world, as well as being sure you are able to provide the best quality service possible to all of your customers. Collaboration is the key to growth and any agency that wants to grow and thrive in today’s market needs to master this approach if they want to successfully succeed in business.
Obviously trying to forge bonds with competitors may be difficult, but by finding assets your company has that their company needs, as well as assets their company has that your company needs, you can try to come to a mutual agreement that benefits both of the companies mutually.
National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center. “Interagency Collaboration.” Defining. Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2008. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.
Hodges, S., Nesman, T. & Hernandez, M. “Promising practices: Building collaboration in systems of care.” Washington, DC: Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research. Web. 18 Apr. 2013
Sadao, Kathleen. “Handbook on Developing and Evaluating Interagency Collaboration in Early Childhood Special Education Programs.” California Department of Education, 2004. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.
Friedman, S. R., Reynolds, J., Quan, M. A., Call, S., Crusto, C. A., & Kaufman, J. S. (2007). Measuring changes in interagency collaboration: An examination of the Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative. Evaluation And Program Planning, 30 (3), 294-306.
NSW Government. “Interagency Collaboration: Making It Work.” Web. 18 Apr. 2013
Garrett, P. M. (2004). Talking child protection: The police and social workers ‘working together’. Journal of Social Work, 4 (1), 77-97.