Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
One purpose of this chapter is to summarize some of the insights
related to the value of collaborations and working alliances. Joint working
agreements can help address the complex circumstances of displaced
workers and families. The economic downturn has impacted the lives of
many people who were previously unaffected by involuntary work loss. A
large number of these people were unprepared for the lost investments,
home foreclosures, and bankruptcies. Many workers and families are find-
ing it increasingly difficult to meet their obligations and successfully make
the necessary adjustments in their lives without unemployment benefits
and other forms of assistance.
As a consequence of the recent economic downturn, people have expe-
rienced new types of personal difficulties. Therefore, they are increasingly
turning to community social service agencies, government services, and
faith-based programs for help. Community service organizations and many
other agencies are also under great financial stress and finding it difficult to
meet the increasingly complex needs of people. Their ability to respond is
also hampered by a history of limited collaboration and integration among
service providers. The long-term projections for the economic downturn
will continue to challenge the capacity of agencies to independently
provide adequate support and services to address the needs of displaced
workers and families.
The question of organizational collaboration as an effective tool to
enhance program effectiveness and efficiency has been debated for a long
while. Woodland and Hutton (2012) examined collaboration as a widely
utilized strategy for facilitating organizational innovation and performance
and the development and effects of interagency collaboration. In their
report, the authors present the Collaboration Evaluation and Improvement
Framework (CEIF) used to increase capacity to engage in efficient and
effective collaborative practices. Use of the CEIF to operationalize and
assess the construct of collaboration can help enable the evaluator to ascer-
tain how collaborative efforts correlate with indicators of organizational
impact and outcomes ( Janz, Soi, & Russell, 2009 ).
Fleury and Mercier (2002) described how organizing services in an
integrated network, as a model for transforming healthcare systems, is
often presented as a potential remedy for service fragmentation and
should enhance system efficiency. In the mental health sector, integration
of services is often a part of a diversified response to the multiple needs of
clients. This is particularly important when assisting people with serious
mental health disorders. The authors describe how the notion of
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