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Social service organizations and policy makers increasingly believe that they can accomplish more and improve outcomes for those they serve when they work together with other organizations. They forge new partnerships, develop new relationships, and often implement changes to practice as a result of collaboration and coordination efforts.
Collaboration and coordination efforts occur along a continuum, from early planning stages towards more fully developed or mature levels of partnership. Taking a periodic assessment of the level at which partnerships are operating can help organizations take steps to intensify and strengthen their partnerships, and identify priority areas to focus their improvements.
This Collaboration Assessment Tool is intended to be a resource for Tribal TANF-Child Welfare Coordination grantees and other partnering human services programs to help them identify and operationalize various collaboration constructs, monitor collaboration efforts, and measure and track progress on collaboration and coordination. Detailed instructions are provided on options for completing, scoring, and interpreting the results of the Collaboration Assessment Tool, and the full Collaboration Assessment Tool is included as an appendix at the end of the document as well as in a separate interactive Excel version of the tool (XLS).
The Collaboration Assessment Tool was developed to help current and future Tribal TANF-Child Welfare Coordination grantees assess their initiatives’ partnership performance in a concrete and measurable way. It is intended to be used to identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement as well as to track changes over time.
Key Findings and Highlights
The Collaboration Assessment Tool assesses progress in eight areas or categories of indicators. The eight categories are:
- Relationships and Communication
- Information Sharing
- Staff Training
- Screening and Assessment
- Case Planning and Case Management
- Coordinated Delivery of Services
- Information Systems
- Additional Indicators
The Collaboration Assessment Tool includes guidance on scoring each indicator and summarizing performance by category. A percentage is calculated for each category, reflecting the overall score. This tool may be used to track progress over time. If scores are compared each time a program uses this assessment tool, a percent change calculation can help track progress over time.
Keene, K., Geary, E., & Ahonen, P. (2020). Tribal TANF—Child Welfare Coordination: Collaboration Assessment Tool. OPRE Report #2020-40. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation; Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.