- Six-month project
- Building better collaboration among key agencies
Arlington is taking steps to strengthen collaboration among County agencies that serve at-risk youth and families. The County has won a competitive award to work with the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy on a six-month project that will:
- Identify existing barriers to effective multi-system partnerships
- Develop strategies to overcome those barriers
- Create policies and procedures that will facilitate better collaboration among key agencies
The program also will look at information sharing, understanding how agency culture impacts the change process, and identifying how to best partner with and empower youth and families. The Department of Human Services will lead the program, working closely with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and Arlington Public Schools.
“Day in and day out, these agencies and their staffs are doing outstanding work to help Arlington children and families,” said Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz. “Working with the McCourt School gives us an opportunity to strategically address the entire system of touch points for at-risk youth and families – including schools, social services and the court system – to further knock down barriers, improve collaboration and outcomes, and strengthen Arlington families.”
The McCourt School of Public Policy will provide technical assistance for the program. Experts from the McCourt School will provide us with brainpower and services, and will shepherd us through the system review process, developing effective policies and procedures, and implementing change to improve our system.
“We applied for this grant because many of Arlington’s children and families are served by multiple systems,” said Tabitha Kelly, Child Welfare Bureau Chief. “Our kids and families deserve a coordinated, effective system of care where agencies are willing to tackle tough issues. The child-serving system depends on our ability to come together, coordinate action and solve problems in a way that enhances the lives of those we serve.”
“Youth involved with multiple systems of care are a high-need population that require systems and organizations to work together in a collaborative manner to realize improved outcomes,” says Shay Bilchik, Founder and Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. “Part of our goals with the program are to assist this jurisdiction in improving communications between systems and developing partnerships between other child-serving organizations to better serve youth at risk.”