Parents with young children in early care and education programs like Early Head Start may also need other kinds of support. They may need affordable higher education alternatives like community college, or job training and economic support from workforce development programs. Helping clients navigate the complexities of different programs can be difficult for service providers, especially when it comes to ensuring the right coordination between services for parents and their children. Better program coordination may lead to greater benefits for families than individual service providers could achieve alone. Coordination requires systems change, however—change achieved through active partnerships, engaged leadership, cooperative planning, data-informed decision making, strategic use of resources, and innovative problem solving.
Mathematica’s new digital resource on improving family outcomes through coordinated services speaks directly to this need. Our partnership framework, which shows how local partnerships tend to evolve through stages of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration, was developed to help staff document their specific approaches to coordinated services and assess the approaches’ quality and intensity necessary to have an impact on parent and child outcomes.
Beyond sharing the tools and information available now, the digital resource describes upcoming initiatives that will help programs use rapid-cycle testing to pilot their approach to coordinated services and give decision makers timely and actionable evidence on possible ways to improve program outcomes. We also bring to light several culturally responsive best practices and innovative methods that multigenerational programs can use to overcome access disparities among communities of color and communities experiencing poverty.
For more information about Mathematica’s coordinated services work, or to speak with one of our experts, email email@example.com.