Because families at risk of child abuse or neglect often face challenges in other areas of their lives, effective collaboration with other service providers and systems is essential to supporting families' many unique needs. Common systems with which child abuse prevention professionals may need to collaborate include early childhood, substance use treatment, and domestic violence awareness systems.
Use these resources to learn about forming effective partnerships across systems to prevent child abuse and neglect. State and local examples are included.
Building a Foundation for Family Well-Being: Creating A Roadmap for Cross-System Investments (PDF - 744 KB)
American Public Human Services Association & Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (2021)
Outlines how cross-system collaboration around the prevention of child maltreatment could be supported through a culture of systemic change, longer-term policy development, and the implementation of prevention first programming instead of individualized interventions from child welfare services.
Child Abuse Prevention and Child Welfare: Collaborating for Creative Solutions (PDF - 995 KB)
FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (2019)
Discusses how child welfare agencies should partner with communities as well as other human services systems such as schools, early childhood organizations, health-care providers, and others to promote the prevention of child maltreatment.
Creating and Maintaining Coalitions and Partnerships
Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas
Offers a framework and supports for creating coalitions or collaborative partnerships.
Creating and Sustaining Cross-System Collaboration to Support Families in Child Welfare with Co-Occurring Issues: An Administrator's Handbook (PDF - 1,432 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Provides information relevant to using collaborative practices and models across human service systems in order to better serve families in contact with child welfare who are dealing with co-occurring issues. The handbook defines co-occurring issues and challenges families in child welfare might face in gaining access to individualized services.
The Power of Collaboration in Preventing Child Neglect Partnering With Substance Use, Mental Health and Domestic Violence Systems (PDF - 615 KB)
FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (2018)
Summarizes the importance of collaboration between child welfare services and other programs, such as substance use treatment, mental health, and domestic violence awareness systems, to address child abuse and neglect prevention.
Rebuilding Communities Initiative
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Provides information about an initiative that seeks to establish effective neighborhood collaborations and demonstrate that troubled, low-income communities can become safe, supportive environments where children and families can thrive.
Resources to Support Cross-System Collaboration
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
Presents resources and information on cross-system collaboration to support families impacted by substance use who are also involved with the child welfare system.
We Can Do Better: Cross-System Approaches for Addressing Child Maltreatment [Video]
American Academy of Political and Social Science (2021)
Explores how cross-system collaboration across child and family-serving systems could help prevent child maltreatment. The speakers also discuss how families of color experience child welfare interventions and how these interventions could be improved.
State and local examples
Advancing Minnesota Families: Using the Implementation of Family First Prevention Services Act to Build a System of Prevention (PDF - 654 KB)
Association of Minnesota Counties & Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators (2019)
Details a reformed approach to child welfare in Minnesota that aims to support families and promote child safety. The strategy combines a range of State agencies as well as county and Tribal administrates with multiple child and family-serving agencies.
Child Abuse Prevention Collaborative
Prevent Child Abuse Oregon
Introduces a child abuse prevention network in Oregon that involves collaboration between direct service providers and advocates across the State.
Hampton Healthy Families Partnership
Describes how city and community agencies have joined together with public and private organizations such as hospitals, restaurants, businesses, and banks to help families become healthy, happy, and self-sufficient. Through home visitation, parenting classes, newsletters, library resource centers, and a variety of other programs, the Partnership works to ensure that every child in Hampton, VA, is born healthy and enters school ready to learn.
How Has San Francisco Taken a Collaborative Approach to Keeping Children Safe?
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Summarizes neighborhood-based family resource centers used in San Francisco as an approach to child maltreatment prevention.
TNOYS 2021 Cross-Systems Youth Policy Agenda: Recommendations for the Texas 87th Legislative Session (PDF - 230 KB)
Texas Network of Youth Services (2021)
Highlights how policies must be coordinated across youth-serving organizations to better support youth in Texas involved with child welfare, juvenile justice, and other systems.