Interagency Collaboration Toolkit

Use this toolkit to help build connections between agencies, families, businesses, and organizations. You can also use it as a planning tool with a student in concert with person-centered planning. The toolkit has examples, articles, templates, and checklists.

Getting started

If you’re brand new to this kind of collaboration, start by developing a list of all community partners and service providers and their contact information. Identify a person at the high school to act as contact person for community partners and service providers. Tool: agency contact list tool

Create an interagency advisory group of school staff, families, community partners and service providers. Clearly articulate the roles and responsibilities of the group around communication methods, information sharing protocols, referral protocols, service and task responsibilities. Tool: agreement form templates

Nurture your collaboration. Create opportunities for partners to learn from each other using existing networks. Spread existing and new knowledge. Be responsive to partner desires to become involved in school policy and procedure development. Reflect and evaluate with partners about progress and celebrate achievements.

Deeper understanding

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural Sensitivity: Respect for People’s Strength, Culture and Knowledge is a set of PowerPoint slides from New York State that gives a good overview of cultural sensitivity.

Culture Clues™ are tip sheets for healthcare clinicians, to increase awareness about concepts and preferences of patients. Lots of crossover to education.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Transition Personnel is a detailed and evidence-based discussion of cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD) and implications for transition personnel. Somewhat heavy-going but worth the effort, from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Shrink your page width for easier reading.

Connecting to Your Community

Use a bubble diagram and chart to develop your local agency contact list.

Find who has received federal funding for programs that serve youth and their families in your community. Interactive mapping tool, Map My Community, from youth.gov.

Resources for Building Community Partnerships, examples and strategies for fostering successful partnerships, from Edutopia.org.

Partnership Roles & Meeting Essentials

Overview of interagency agreements from NCSET. What are the components of successful interagency agreements, and how can they be implemented?

The Seven Norms of Collaboration help to ensure productive conversation. Pick one of these to focus on at each meeting. One-page summary of Norms (PDF), Norms of Collaboration Toolkit

Sample agreement forms to use as templates. One is for working with an agency, three are for working with employers.

Community-wide Issues & Evaluations

SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results) analysis focuses on current strengths and a vision of the future. It is a positive, participative approach to strategy development that involves those who will impact AND those who will be impacted.

What is SOAR Analysis? Overview and tips from GroupMap.

SOAR Worksheet (PDF, 2 pages)

The Community Tool Box is a free online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities. Toolkits for key activities.

Collaboration Resources

A Guide to Developing Collaborative School-Community-Business Partnerships (PDF, 31 pages, 2015) covers getting started, convening the partners, strategies for engaging key partners including families, and sustaining the partnerships.

Transition Teaming: 26 Strategies for Interagency Collaboration (book, 162 pages, 2014) provides a step-by-step process and concrete strategies.

Links checked and updated 8/1/20

Pinterest version of toolkit

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