Local Collaboration Saves Young Lives

Helping Families works by bringing local leaders—district attorneys, judges, law enforcement offices, mayors, county commissioners, educators, judges, foundation staff, local foundations and leaders of public and private social services — together to build support for collaborative action that identifies young people at risk of illegal drug use and other crimes, accesses their personal and family risk factors, and addresses these factors with appropriate services from multiple agencies.

With this community leadership in place, Helping Families creates and supports a multi-disciplinary team that works with public and private agencies and other professionals to hurdle communications barriers — such as reluctance to work with other agencies or lack of knowledge about services available from other agencies — so that a full range of existing services can be applied as needed.

Collaboration around a unifying goal is powerful. Helping Families coordinates help from public and private agencies by focusing on one specific, achievable goal: identifying young people at risk of losing their futures through criminal activities and helping them with existing resources so potential crimes do not happen. With this goal in mind, communication barriers that prevent agencies from working together are eliminated. A full spectrum of services can be provided to the individuals and families and social workers can share their successes and work together to develop solutions. Helping Families provides software that allows agencies to communicate easily while maintaining client confidentiality as well as public communication techniques that build and maintain public support.

Barriers overcome include:

  • Bureaucratic divisions of responsibility
  • Resistance to Change
  • Dependence on policing to handle problems with social/environmental causes
  • Overreaching privacy rules
  • Old technologies
  • Lack of a central source of information on local successes
  • Lack of quick access to research on causes of bad behavior in young people
  • Absence of a goal all agencies can share
  • Lack of software that coordinates services between agencies

Upcoming Events

4th Annual Child Advocacy Day
VOICES for Alabama’s Children
Montgomery, AL
March 16, 2017
“Helping Families Initiative”
Alabama District Attorneys Association
Fairhope, AL
April 6–9, 2017
“Next Generation of K-12 Indicator and response Systems to Increase Students’ Post-Secondary Readiness and Persistence”
A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported initiative, sponsored by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
May 1–3, 2017
“Getting Better at Getting Better”
Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education
San Francisco, CA
March 26–30, 2017
“Breaking Down Barriers — Humanity Matters”
National Association of Social Workers — Alabama
Bryant Conference Center
Tuscaloosa, AL
April 24–25, 2017