Developing Collaborative Relationships

Developing Collaborative Relationships

Professionals working in child welfare, substance use treatment, the court system, healthcare, and community organizations should collaborate to best serve families affected by substance use disorders. Building collaborative relationships across agencies takes time, but research shows that these relationships result in better outcomes for children and families. One of the early steps in developing collaborative relationships may include identifying and addressing any tension due to differences of opinion about the overall mission and agency priorities among partners. Having conversations and providing training on each agency’s processes and protocols can clarify misunderstandings and provide an opportunity to discuss potential improvements on behalf of families. Developing collaborative relationships may also involve securing cross-systems communication, developing information-sharing agreements, and committing to joint outcomes. These activities can build the foundation of trust and agreement on common goals among partners.

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