Case Study of a Collaborative Approach to Improving Community-Based Services for People with Low Income: Community Caring Collaborative
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
- The CCC’s main approach to serving people with low incomes is to build collaborative community initiatives to address emerging needs.
- The CCC’s primary services are convening groups of community service providers or members to build trusting relationships, collaborate, and share information; incubating programs to address emerging community needs; providing training and technical assistance to partner staff on various topics, including how to implement CCC-incubated programs with fidelity; and operating core programs that support multiple partners; for example, programs that remove financial barriers for partners’ participants or cross-sector initiatives.
- Promising practices include building collaboration across diverse organizations, designing and implementing participant-centered programs, building the capacity of partner organizations, and providing flexible funding for activities designed to remove barriers.
This case study describes the Community Caring Collaborative (CCC), the backbone organization of a network of community organizations and individuals focused on improving the lives of people and families with low incomes in Washington County, Maine. The CCC supports 45 nonprofit and state government organizations in a variety of ways and brings them together to solve emerging issues facing Washington County.
This case study is part of the State TANF Case Studies project, which is designed to expand the knowledge base on innovative approaches to help people with low incomes, including TANF recipients, prepare for and engage in work and increase their overall stability. Mathematica and its subcontractor, MEF Associates, were contracted by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop descriptive case studies of nine innovative state and local programs. The programs were chosen through a scan of the field and discussions with stakeholders. TANF practitioners and staff of other programs can learn about innovative practices through the case studies. The studies also can expand policymakers’ and researchers’ understanding of programs that support people’s success in work and highlight innovative practices to explore in future research.