Multi-System Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance Program
The Multi-System Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance program supports cohorts of up to six jurisdictions through distance learning TTA in developing the foundation for multi-system collaboration. This developmental process requires participating sites to engage in a series of activities that focus on identifying existing barriers to partnership development and information sharing, understanding how youth are served in various contexts, acknowledging how agency culture impacts change, challenging the role of leadership and empowering others in the change process, and identifying ways to truly partner with and empower youth and families.
Jurisdictions that have infrastructures in place to support system improvement efforts and multi-system collaboration will find themselves in a better position to enhance outcomes for youth, families, staff, and communities. Broadly defined, this infrastructure is composed of three essential elements:
- An appropriate and engaged leadership team to oversee multi-system efforts;
- An environment in which each system has thorough knowledge of its partner systems within the community, including clear understanding of the legal, structural, financial, and cultural constraints that informs each system’s actions; and
- A robust information and data-sharing infrastructure to enhance both case-level decision making and population-level policy decisions.
Technical Assistance Curriculum
Technical Assistance Curriculum
To assist in the development of a jurisdiction’s action plan, the MSC-TTA will provide a series of technical assistance activities on a variety of topics designed to support a robust multi-system collaborative infrastructure. Sites will be expected to incorporate goals associated with these TTA topics into their action plans. TTA will be provided through training sessions that consist of webinars, conference calls, and individualized assistance as needed. The TTA sessions will include a mix of individualized jurisdiction specific and all-sites interactive activities. All programming will aid jurisdictions with incorporating research and best practices into their multi-system collaboration efforts.
MSC-TTA topics will include:
- Understanding Youth Systems through Mapping and Gap Analysis – This session will provide an overview of how to conduct a mapping of current systems and use this information to better understand how a jurisdiction serves youth and families. In addition, participating teams will complete a gap analysis to assess their strengths around four key components of multi-system collaboration: system connectedness, data and information sharing, quality assurance, and workforce training. This session will allow sites to explore the ways in which their own systems function and how they can adapt protocols for stronger collaboration into the pre-existing structure of each agency.
- Essential Steps for Information Sharing across Agencies – This session will teach jurisdictions the essential steps for developing a robust information sharing infrastructure among child- and family-serving agencies. Participants will better understand how federal laws and state statutes support the sharing of information in a cautious and inclusionary manner. The session will highlight the types of information partners can and should be sharing to serve youth in multiple systems in an efficient and effective way.
- Utilizing Data to Inform Cross-System Collaboration – This session will address how sites can utilize their data to better understand trends in the population of youth being served by multiple agencies and identify areas in need of reform. This session will also discuss strategies for designing and carrying out evaluations of new reforms, policies, and system change efforts. To do this, participating jurisdictions will develop logic models that reflect a direct connection from the reform efforts to population and system indicators. In addition, this session will include discussions about obtaining data, establishing a manageable and affordable data platform, and presenting/communicating data in a way that is engaging and informative.
- Empowering and Strengthening Relationships with Youth and Families – This session will focus on the critical need to have families and young people involved at the core of a strength-based case practice model and engaged in the system change effort. This session will explore the benefits of and barriers to effective partnerships with youth and families in system change efforts. Jurisdictions will learn a practical framework for empowering youth and families and review examples of successful partnerships in jurisdictions across the country.
- Implementing and Sustaining System Change – This session will introduce a framework for implementing significant and powerful system change designed to improve outcomes for multi-system youth. Teams will consider different ways of implementing system change in their community by reviewing both the academic literature on the subject and real-world examples of communities that have made lasting reforms within their child-serving systems. This session will also explore the necessary elements needed both in leadership and within the workforce of an organization to ensure sustainability of change efforts. By the end of this session, teams will develop a detailed action plan for short- and long-term system improvement efforts that align with each team’s stated goals.
The application period for the MSC-TTA program is currently open through August 11, 2017.
Who Should Apply for Training and Technical Assistance
Teams representing states, tribes, territories, local governments, and/or community agencies and organizations that wish to improve outcomes for youth, families, staff, and communities; seek to enhance multi-system processes; and are committed to cross-system collaboration are encouraged to apply. This training and technical assistance program is designed to help jurisdictions develop or enhance their formal infrastructure for cross-system collaboration in topical areas of their choosing. Participating jurisdictions will apply the TTA to a specific initiative, project, or goal of importance to them. Therefore, the MSC-TTA program benefits jurisdictions that:
- Demonstrate a commitment to implementing cross-system reforms and operational improvements (i.e., formal collaboration between juvenile justice, child welfare, the courts, school systems, behavioral health, and other partners in serving multi-system youth);
- Seek to achieve substantial improvement in case- and system-level collaboration;
- Expect to undertake significant efforts around system integration or the merger/splitting of two or more agencies; and/or
- Are interested in reinvigorating previous system improvement efforts and/or updating multi-system collaboration protocols devised under previous efforts.
Cohort IV includes the following jurisdictions:
- Los Angeles County, California
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Marion County, Indiana
- State of Minnesota
- Clermont County, Ohio
- Clackamas County, Oregon
- Alexandria, Virginia
Cohort III includes the following jurisdictions:
- 11th Judicial District, Colorado
- State of Georgia
- Kane County, Illinois
- St. Louis, Missouri Regional System of Care
- Lancaster County, Nebraska
- State of Nevada
Cohort II includes the following jurisdictions:
- Ohio Family and Children First
- Butler County, Ohio
- Sandusky County, Ohio
- Wayne County, Ohio
- Marathon County, Wisconsin
- Giles County, Tennessee
Cohort I includes the following jurisdictions:
- State of Florida
- Crow Wing County, Minnesota
- Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady Counties, New York
- Arlington County, Virginia
- State of West Virginia
Listed below is a sample of the project activities completed by sites that have participated in the MSC-TTA program:
- Performing systems mapping and case study activities to track youth moving across various systems
- Developing creative budget planning processes to support youth services
- Developing a mechanism to provide wraparound services to youth in the community awaiting competency determinations before trial
- Conducting a process map to identify gaps in youth services
- Developing a strategic multi-county plan to engage communities and address the issue of disproportionate minority contact (DMC)
- Developing a state-wide inventory of multi-system workgroups and projects to develop a information clearinghouse related to state-wide multi-system efforts
- Implementing formal mechanisms for multi-system meetings to review complex cases; identify system gaps; and discuss new policy, practices and procedures to better service youth involved in multiple systems of care
“The MSC-TTA program offered [us] a method to look at our process and have it critically reflected back at us. It made us take the time to look at the work of our individual systems and to consider ways to address the individual mandates of each system and how they could be better aligned with others to better serve youth and families. Under the direction of the MSC-TTA Team, we were better able to see barriers to how our collaborative functioned and offered us guidance towards making cross system changes.
[We] would recommend that others take advantage of the robust consulting offered by the MSC-TTA Program. The process alone is helpful in creating community collaboration and enhances coordination of strategies and, perhaps more importantly, of a philosophy for those gathered around the table.”
Cameron Maneese | Director, Wayne County Family & Children First Council, Ohio
“The state of West Virginia decided to apply for the MSC-TTA grant as a result of juvenile justice reform legislation that was moving through the legislature during the regular session. When we learned we had been selected, we were very excited because the program offered technical assistance and support around issues that needed to be addressed from a multi-system perspective. West Virginia is very proud of our initiatives and accomplishments, but the MSC-TTA program has encouraged us to look at our goals though a different lens, strengthen our existing partnerships and to evaluate how systems are currently working together to provide holistic services to youth involved in multiple systems. We are pleased with the work we are doing as a result of our involvement with the MSC-TTA program because we have determined the direction and the focus of our work from the very beginning. We have also had the flexibility to shift our goals and objectives so that we are doing the most beneficial work for youth and families in West Virginia. I would highly recommend the MSC-TTA program to any jurisdiction that wants to strengthen collaboration between multiple systems. Our involvement with the MSC-TTA program will continue to influence the multiple system work being done in West Virginia long after the formal program has ended.”
Stephanie Bond | Director, West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services
“The MSC-TTA has helped our agencies identify areas in our system that need improvement and to develop concrete strategies to make these changes. It has helped us improve the way we communicate, better define our roles, and more effectively coordinate our services. Our preliminary work has laid the groundwork for improved outcomes and services to the Arlington youth and families involved in multiple county systems. Based on our work we expect improvements in family engagement, expansion of diversion services, earlier interventions, and more frequent use of a consolidated service planning for mutual clients.”
Earl Conklin | Director of Arlington Court Services Unit, Virginia
“Participating in the [MSC-TTA program] has assisted us in taking a huge step forward in working with youth involved in both child welfare and the juvenile justice system. It provided a great structure, information from around the country and it kept us focused on what we needed to do to move this process forward. Knowing that others are struggling with the same issues and having the opportunity to “test” our theories with experts in the field has really helped us to shortcut some of the work. It was a challenge to all of us to come together and be prepared to break down the system barriers and I am pretty sure that without the assistance of this project that it would not have happened. Clearly this is just the start but at least now we know where we need to go and we have additional tools and resources to take us there thanks to the Georgetown staff. I would unreservedly recommend this program to anyone in this field.”
Heather D. Stowe | Director of Social Services, Arlington County Department of Human Services, Virginia
“The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, and its partners across the state, consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with the MSC-TTA program. The quality of the professional staff and depth of experience they possess is well recognized across the country. Interestingly, one of the most beneficial outcomes of our participation in this program so far has been the cohesiveness our multi-agency team in Florida has achieved. Our team consists of several state agencies and community organizations, and activities facilitated through the MSC-TTA program have helped to enrich our interagency alliance, further benefitting the children and families we all serve.”
Kristin Vallese | Executive Director, Florida Children and Youth Cabinet