Interagency Collaboration to Improve Service Coordination for Children with Special Needs: Lessons from States
Families of children with special needs depend on an extensive array of services, often supported by public agencies. At the state level, these agencies—including health, education, developmental disabilities, mental health, and child welfare—frequently operate in isolation from one another. As a consequence parents frequently spend many hours coordinating among fragmented services and separate payers. Their tasks would be lightened were these various entities to communicate better with one another. This project will identify states that have made progress toward interagency collaboration, and examine their strategies, barriers, and accomplishments. It will offer lessons and potential steps to promote collaboration across departments and systems serving children and youth with special needs, provide policy and operational recommendations to the executive and legislative branches of state government, and offer advocates an agenda to promote.