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December/January 2018Vol. 18, No. 9Eight Reasons to Use a Partnership When Providing Support Services

Partnerships among public, state, tribal, and territorial agencies and nonprofit and other community-based organizations can be beneficial in implementing and sustaining programs and support services for adoptive, foster, and kinship care families.

A tip sheet from AdoptUSKids lists the following eight benefits public agencies can see from partnering with nonprofit organizations:

  • Partnerships can facilitate program implementation. Nonprofit organizations typically have more flexibility in hiring staff, have fewer regulations or protocols to follow than public agencies, and can provide services across county and state lines.
  • Partnerships can help programs reach families who need support. Parent or youth support groups, parent associations, and other nonprofit organizations typically have well-established and ongoing relationships with parents and families in their communities. These groups often have mailing lists of families, knowledge about events these families attend, and proven strategies for reaching target families in the community.
  • Partnerships with nonprofit groups and organizations help families feel more comfortable asking for support. Parents and other caregivers may feel reluctant to contact public agencies for help, especially if they or other family members have had children removed from their homes or they fear their children might be put into foster care.
  • Partnerships can reach and successfully serve a diverse community. Collaborating with community-based organizations that have connections with and expertise serving different populations can enable a program to be more culturally competent and effective in reaching diverse groups.
  • Partnerships build on each partner's strengths. Child welfare systems can leverage the strengths of their partners to improve program effectiveness. Private partners are often better able to initiate action quickly, have specialized services, respond better to larger populations, maintain consistent funding, and more.
  • Partnerships enable public agencies to maintain their priorities while also adjusting to shifting prioritiesNonprofit organizations can alleviate the burden on public agency staff, who often take on large caseloads, by continuing to offer support services even if the public agency is called to focus its resources elsewhere.
  • Partnerships can increase access to other financial resources. Nonprofit organizations can access United Way and foundation funding, which are not options for public agencies.
  • Partnerships can make it easier to sustain programs. A network of agencies invested in the success of a project is key to sustainability.

Public Agencies Don't Need To Do It Alone: Eight Reasons to Use a Partnership When Providing Support Services to Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship Care Families is available at (88 KB).