Colorado Technical University Program Development in The 21st Century Questions
Community ResourcesIn relation to the social problem you identified in previous assignments, in your initial post, identify and investigate three existing local community resources you might use in your own program development project. Use the Community Resource Snapshot in Chapter 7 of your Program Development in the 21st Century textbook to provide your recommendations. Address the following questions for each resource:Exactly what type of relationship will you pursue with this resource?In what ways will your program benefit from this relationship?How will you maintain communication with this resource?Chapter 7 pg 197-218Identify and Engage Community ResourcesLearning ObjectivesDiscuss the importance of community resource development in comprehensive program developmentExplain how community resources can be used to augment the service array, build advocacy coalitions, and garner fundingExplain the relationship between community resource development and program sustainability planning and strengthening communitiesDiscuss the relationships between the results of the asset map, community demography assessment, market analysis, and logic model to community resource development effortsInvestigate and identify relevant community resources by completing the community resource development exerciseWHY ENGAGE THE COMPETITION?Ryan and Adrienne recently celebrated the third anniversary of their outreach and shelter program for female survivors of domestic violence. Their shelter program had consistently remained at 95% capacity over the past 2 years—unfortunately, reflecting the continued scope of the domestic violence problem in the region—and they had expanded their outreach program to include a domestic violence prevention program for high school and college students. In addition, the programs had recently gained accreditation through the Council of Accreditation—something they were very proud to have attained.While Ryan and Adrienne had become familiar with some of the staff of the local hospital as well as an attorney’s office, they had had only brief encounters with the other two major providers working with domestic violence survivors in the area. Moreover, Ryan and Adrienne had taken few steps to identify other resources that existed in the community, believing that they would be better off trying to address the needs of their clients directly rather than referring their clients to other providers. Their fear, of course, was that if they referred their clients to other providers, they might put their own program at risk of losing its relevance and potentially going out of business. So far, this method had served them well—their business was thriving, and they successfully expanded their core business—demonstrating that they could be involved not only in shelter services but also in primary prevention efforts.However, not soon after they celebrated their 3-year milestone, their shelter contract was up for bid. Whereas the original contract focused primarily on the services provided on-site at the shelter, the contract had been significantly modified with a new emphasis on the creation of linkages to an extensive community network. The contractor’s intent was to more effectively support the long-term needs of the client population by assisting them in accessing various resources. As such, applicants interested in applying for the contract were required to identify a community network, consisting of multiple organizations that offered adjunctive services (e.g., vocational development, housing) and extended core services (e.g., domestic violence support). With the proposal due in 3 weeks, Adrienne and Ryan had to quickly begin speaking with various leaders of community organizations (i.e., resources) in an attempt to get them to participate as part of a community network. They began by approaching their two main competitors; however, they quickly learned that these two organizations had worked collaboratively for the past several years, using each other as a referral source to augment their own services as well as working together to pass new legislation on behalf of domestic violence survivors. The competitors further shared that they were also planning to pursue the contract and would be doing so in a partnership with several other community organizations with whom they had previously done business.Without being able to establish a key partnership with one of the two providers offering core services, Ryan and Adrienne knew their chances of securing the contract were slim. And after spending a considerable amount of time trying to line up potential adjunctive partners, Ryan and Adrienne consistently received the same message: They were simply not known to other community resources, and therefore, there was no desire for others to partner with them, particularly given such a short time frame in which to make a decision.They were able to get the attorney’s office to provide a letter of support, and they were able to secure a letter from one of the high schools where they provided outreach services, but they knew that their proposal was weak—not demonstrating their ability to offer an extensive community network. Needless to say, when they received notice that they did not win the contract, they were not surprised. Rather than wallow in this failure for long, Adrienne and Ryan decided to put their energies into getting to know their competitors in domestic violence prevention, as well as developing relationships with other community resources—having directly learned the significance of these relationships.CONSIDERING ADRIENNE AND RYANWhat mistakes did Ryan and Adrienne make, and how could they have prevented them?Beyond gaining a letter of support, what other benefits might you receive from developing a relationship with your competitor?Are relationships between competitors in human services different from those between different types of for-profit businesses? Why or why not?About This ChapterThis chapter focuses specifically on community resource development and the key role that community resource development can play in program development efforts. In the comprehensive program development model, there are two steps involving community resources—identifying and engaging community resources and building and preserving relationships with community resources. This chapter covers Step V of the model and involves the initial work with community resources—resource development and, specifically, identifying and engaging community resources.The chapter begins with defining community resources and discussing the role of community resource development in program development efforts. Further highlighting the significance of community resource development, we will examine five major purposes related to community resource development that include augmenting the service array, developing an advocacy coalition, garnering funding, planning for sustainability, and strengthening communities. In order to illustrate how this step builds on work previously completed in the preplanning and planning stages of program development, we will revisit the results of the community demography assessment, asset map, market analysis, and logic model for use in identifying community resources. In addition, we will initially discuss the need to not only engage but begin to preserve community resources, particularly as this need links to Step XI (Build and Preserve Community Resources). Finally, the Community Resource Snapshot tool is provided for use in community resource development, and an exercise is provided to further reinforce the topic.STEP V: IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE COMMUNITY RESOURCESCommunity: DefinedA discussion about community resources must begin with a discussion about community and exactly what is meant by the concept of community. Providing a focused definition of community, Bookman (2005) views it as a “real geographical community that shapes family life and work” (p. 144). In contrast, according to Lewis, Lewis, Daniels, and D’Andrea (2003),The word community means different things to different people. To some it may refer to people living in a specific geographic area (e.g., rural versus urban community). To others it may mean a group of people related by their unique cultural, ethnic, or racial background, such as the Asian American community. Still others may use the term to refer to the interdependence each has to one another as members of a much broader “global community.” (p. 6)Taking the concept of community a step further, Homan (2004) offers the perspective that a community is similar to an individual, insofar as a community may have strengths and limitations, specific challenges that it faces (e.g., ethnic conflict, crime), feelings of powerlessness, unique skills that come from its members, and the ability to engage in collaboration/supportive activities. Whereas these definitions reinforce Gareis and Barnett’s (2008) assertion that there still is not a well-established consensus definition of community in the mental health professions, for the sake of the discussion on community resource development, an even more focused definition of community will be used. Community will be defined as the geographic region in which client populations reside—consistent with the concept of a target region discussed in Chapter 2.Community Resources: DefinedCommunity resources are assets that the community possesses. Or simply, “resources are what a community has going for itself ” (Homan, 2004, p. 55). As discussed in Chapter 2, resources can include services, other treatment providers, knowledge, and other assets that are available within the community. Because the strength, self-preservation, and sustainability of a community are often based on the degree to which a community can be self-supporting, the resources that a community has are integral to achieving this. In fact, communities themselves often play a critical role in helping individual community members overcome major stressors and successfully adapt in the face of severe challenges (Yoon, 2009). However, it is not simply the fact that a community has available resources that makes it healthy but, rather, that the community fully utilizes its available resources in order to achieve greater health and self-sufficiency.Community Resources: Brief Review of the LiteratureUnfortunately, research in the area of community resource development has been scattered and noncumulative (Gareis & Barnett, 2008), with the bulk of the literature still in its infancy. Studies that have been conducted in this area have focused on the peripheral issue of needs assessments in identifying service needs for specific populations, such as elderly African immigrants (Darboe & Ahmed, 2007); the use of neighborhood mapping techniques to identify community assets and other community characteristics, including specific resources (Aronson, Wallis, O’Campo, & Schafer, 2007); and the resilience of particular communities as a result of various existing community assets (Maybery, Pope, Hodgins, Hitchenor, & Shepherd, 2009).In addition, one recent study sought to move into new territory by investigating perceived community resource fit compared with individual community members’ needs and by developing a quantitative tool by which to assess this (Gareis & Barnett, 2008). In this work, the authors examined a residential community of employed families, exploring community members’ satisfaction with their personal values, desires, or goals as matched with the community’s existing resources. Their findings illustrated the significance of effective community resource fit in school and work in particular and its relationship to overall well-being, reinforcing previous findings (Gareis, Barnett, & Brennan, 2003; Voydanoff, 2004). As such, the greater the perceived satisfaction with work and school resources, the less family conflict and psychological stress there is. This work also resulted in the development of a standardized measure to assess community resource fit that has promising psychometric properties (Gareis & Barnett, 2008), which may be instrumental in future studies in this area.Whereas research in this area is beginning to evolve, much more attention will need to be paid to ensure that studies related to community resource development focus on all types of communities, particularly those facing serious challenges (e.g., working poor and impoverished, largely unemployed, high-crime areas). It is often these types of marginalized communities that provide the context of work in human services, and therefore, it is precisely these types of communities in which we need to better understand the role that community resource development plays.Community Resource DevelopmentMental health professionals and individuals with chronic needs typically know precisely what resources exist in their communities. This is because they have an innate need to know. The former know because their success as clinicians often rests on this knowledge, while the survival of the latter often depends on such information. In fact, I have often thought the measure of a truly effective clinician can be found in his/her awareness of and proximity to an array of community resources. Clinicians today must not only know what resources are available, but they also must be able to skillfully ensure that access to such resources is unrestricted. More often than not, that means that they have to have already developed strong working relationships with the individuals managing the resources. Whereas resource coordination is a core part of the clinicians’ job, individuals with chronic needs are motivated by sheer survival skills to identify and access necessary resources for themselves. As such, individuals with chronic needs are often the most incredibly resilient people, with an enormous amount of knowledge and skill related to available resources—not to mention inner strength and perseverance—from which we all can learn.The availability and array of community resources are integral to any community’s health, required for community development, and indicative of a community’s sustainability. Because of this, community resources are a necessity for any clinical or human service program’s development efforts and must be viewed as a key ingredient of comprehensive program development.Community resource development refers to three main issues:The existence of resources within a community to meet specific needsThe ability to access needed existing resourcesThe development of new resources designed to address existing needsThe Sooke Navigator project (Box 7.1; Anderson & Larke, 2009) provides an excellent example of the need for comprehensive community resource development.BOX 7.1THE SOOKE NAVIGATOR PROJECTThe objective of the project was to improve mental health and addiction services to individuals in a rural region in British Columbia. Led by a collaborative team of mental health professionals and community leaders, the project focused on identifying and engaging existing community resources in order to increase access to available services in the region.After a thorough investigation of all the existing community resources, two Navigator positions were developed that would function as direct links to needed community resources. One Navigator was assigned to youth, and the other Navigator was responsible for adults.Navigators were mental health workers that were responsible forconducting a strengths-based assessment and initial plan,connecting individuals to necessary resources,providing focused support and guidance to individuals in need,educating community members and other professionals about the existing community resources, andfollowing up with individuals to determine the outcomes related to community resource linkages.In addition, Navigators were required to have specialized knowledge of the primary treatment issues, collaborate with both the individuals and participating community resources in the development of the initial assessment plan, and provide or coordinate ongoing linking services to ensure that the individual could indeed access any necessary resources.By implementing the Navigator system, the region was able to increase community member access to necessary mental health and addiction treatment.One of the key factors that motivated the Sooke project was that even though the region had various resources, individuals in need of the resources often were unable to access them because they were not aware of them or because other barriers stood in their way. Unfortunately, this problem is in no way unique to British Columbia, but rather it is a highly common problem that many, if not most, communities face. However, through a coordinated planning and action process, the Sooke Navigator project demonstrated that it was able to produce a significant impact in linking individuals in need with existing community resources. And it is precisely these types of linkages on which community resource development efforts are based.Objectives of Community Resource DevelopmentIn addition to ensuring that individuals in need are able to gain access to necessary community resources, there are several other purposes for utilizing community resources in comprehensive program development. These include, but are not limited to, the following:Augmenting the service arrayBuilding an advocacy coalitionGarnering additional and/or new fundingPromoting long-term sustainability planningStrengthening communities from within by recognizing and utilizing existing resourcesBecause each of these issues is of particular significance to program development efforts, each will be discussed further below.Augment Service ArrayAs you have likely already witnessed in each of the previous steps of the program design process, a tremendous number of needs must be met when addressing a clinical or social issue. This is because no clinical or social problem exists in isolation, but rather each is connected to a highly complex individual—moreover, a highly complex individual who is multifaceted and who interacts within a broad social context. For instance, treating depression relies only partially on treating the clinical symptoms of depression and should address all aspects of the individual’s lifestyle (e.g., work, hobbies, family, friends), social systems, and intra- and interpersonal aspects, among other issues. Because some of these issues can be addressed therapeutically and others require additional types of intervention, it is necessary to coordinate additional services to ensure that the problem is truly addressed in a holistic manner.Therefore, achieving a comprehensive approach to program development requires not only directly addressing a host of related issues and treating the whole client but also demonstrating the ability to provide enhanced services and treatment through the use of other available resources. This was one of the key factors related to the Sooke project (Anderson & Larke, 2009)—the need to ensure that residents could take advantage of the various resources that existed within their community. From the program developer’s perspective, the ability to tap into existing community resources allows for augmenting the service array, thus enlarging the continuum of services for use by the target population. In doing so, the program developer is able to focus more specifically on the core treatment program since other providers are able to offer enhanced treatment options.In addition to being a smart business practice—using what already exists rather than re-creating what is already there—this approach provides the added benefit of strengthening the community by recognizing its existing attributes. Doing so ensures not only an effectively encompassing treatment approach but also greater potential for sustaining treatment gains as a result of tapping into the community’s existing riches.Advocacy Coalition DevelopmentEqually important to utilizing existing community resources in program development efforts is engaging existing community resources as a means to begin building an advocacy coalition. An advocacy coalition refers to a group of individuals and organizations dedicated to a specific treatment issue or social need that works collectively to increase awareness and knowledge of the issue. Advocacy coalitions may become involved in lobbying efforts—efforts designed to increase funding—and/or may engage in other methods that seek to increase recognition of specific issues and in other activities designed to ensure that the issues can be most effectively addressed. In addition, advocacy coalitions may organize public forums or campaigns to garner support for specific issues, and the work of advocacy coalitions may result in increased pressure on elected officials (Roberts-DeGennaro, 2001). Developing an advocacy coalition may prove essential to sustaining a new program, as the coalition can function to ensure that attention is continuously paid to the types of issues being addressed by the program.Lewis et al. (2003) outline the coalition-building process as one that includes three stages of development:Planning: In the planning stage, counselors must identify those constituency groups that might link with their organization to address an issue of common concern. This task includes making sure that those invited to attend the first coalition-building meeting really do have a common interest and stake in the given issue(s).Consultation: Coalition building involves more than simply presenting an issue to each organization in a way that makes the members appreciate its importance and value. During the consultation stage, representatives from various organizations must discuss the ways in which joining a coalition with other groups will benefit each constituency.Planning and implementation: The planning and implementation stage of the coalition-building process determines the level of interest and commitment that individuals genuinely have regarding the issues of common concern to them. This is critical because individuals will likely demonstrate an increased commitment to a coalition when they feel they have been directly involved in the planning and implementation of beneficial strategies. Given their training and expertise in human relations, counselors are well equipped to deal with the challenging task of facilitating group discussions that involve all participants during the planning and implementation stage. (p. 238)By simply utilizing and working collaboratively with existing community resources in initial program development efforts, you have an opportunity to begin to develop your own advocacy coalition. And it is through this work of getting out and ensuring that you are aware of all the existing resources that you can begin to build your resource knowledge base. In addition, this work allows you to meet and engage your neighbors and potential business partners on a meaningful level. Moreover, by developing close relationships with competitors that offer mutual benefits, you can decrease the possibility of operating at cross purposes (Homan, 2004)—thus, keeping your competitors with you serves to also ensure that they are not working against you. The role and function of advocacy coalitions is further explained in Chapter 13 as part of the broader discussion related to preserving community resources.Garner Additional and/or New FundingNow more than ever before, collaborative efforts in mental health and human service programming are demanded. In fact, rare is the call for proposals for new programs that does not require collaboration between at least two organizations. Two program proposals on which I recently worked might be helpful in illustrating this current trend.The first Request for Proposal was for a contract to provide an array of children’s mental health services and required that the applicant organization identify an established panel of community providers that could provide additional and enhanced services to the target population. The second, from a federal funding agency, required that the applicant organization identify two primary partners—one psychiatric care provider and one medical health provider—that would provide necessary linkages to clients to ensure the availability of comprehensive treatment. In addition, this particular proposal required identifying two additional support service providers (e.g., employment, education) that could be used to further complement the core services provided by the applicant organization.Both of these sets of requirements outlined by the funding sources accurately reflect the current climate in programming—a climate that is highly focused on developing broad-based systems of care. This is largely based on the notion that by developing a broad-based system of care through collaborative efforts, communities can further develop their internal abilities to respond to the needs of their residents, thus strengthening communities from within.Whereas developing such comprehensive systems is often necessary to effectively treat individuals, without established relationships with a variety of community resources, such systems are almost impossible to build. Pragmatically, organizations that do not fully appreciate the need for developing relationships with other existing community resources may find that they have been effectively eliminated from potential new funding. However, with appropriately developed community resource partnerships, programs/organizations can find that they are well postured to seek additional and/or new types of funding—thus, possibly allowing for new opportunities and opportunities that may have a direct impact on sustainability.Sustainability PlanningWhereas both of the above issues have already alluded to long-term sustainability planning, this notion also deserves mention on its own. Sustainability planning refers to the ability of any organism (e.g., program, organization, community) to continue its existence well into the future. This term has come to be a critical part of our vocabulary in the 21st century, particularly as it relates to sustaining the earth that we inhabit. However, thoughtfully focusing on sustainability has been a primary business objective throughout history since, arguably, all new businesses begin with the hope of lasting well into the future and, more so, of experiencing continuous and vast growth.Since mental health and human services are indeed businesses, program developers must design and implement programs with an initial focus on long-term sustainability. Doing so is often a result of multiple factors that will be discussed in detail in the final part of the text, specifically with regard to the importance of evaluation, information sharing, and accreditation. However, sustainability is another significant benefit related to community resource development. That is, by initially engaging and determining how community resources can be utilized in new program development, you are in fact moving toward ensuring that your program can be sustained over time. This is because any program that utilizes existing and alternative resources—not drawing solely from within the program itself—has greater staying power simply because it draws its strength and support from multiple sources rather than relying only on its own. This is no different than individual health and wellness—the richer one’s social support network, the more resilient one is when dealing with hardship.Strengthen Communities From WithinDeveloping relationships with community resources, further developing community resources, and maximizing the relevance of existing resources each have the potential benefit of strengthening the community from within, as was previously noted. Indeed, the more available resources are at the local level, the greater the likelihood that the needs of community members can be addressed at the local level. This type of relationship between a community and its resources serves to empower community members as they realize that they have a community infrastructure within which their needs can be effectively met. As you can imagine, this has tremendous significance to most of us—after all, at the most basic level, we all want to know that we have immediate access to needed resources.Strengthening communities from within is akin to making a community more resilient. And in fact, there are three types of resources that are believed to contribute to a community’s resilience:Social assets—relationships with neighbors and/or affiliations or ties to schools, places of worship, and other community-based organizationsService agency assets—human service organizations that have an institutional rather than a social focus, such as child welfare organizations, hospitals, etc.Economic and neighborhood assets—includes such aspects of a community as family income and employment opportunities (Mowbray et al., 2007)By utilizing community resources in new program development, you are able to reinforce the value of existing community resources to community members. In addition, you have the opportunity to develop new support networks that can be accessed and that may more effectively serve community members. As a result of engaging in community resource development, you have the potential to strengthen communities from within, thus increasing the community’s potential for resilience.Identifying Community Resources: Revisiting the Asset Map, Community Demography Assessment, Market Analysis, and Logic ModelIdentifying existing community resources is the obvious first step in community resource development. But this is not necessarily an easy task, and it really depends on the program developer’s ability to cast the widest net in exploring existing community resources. Fortunately, if you already completed the preplanning activities as part of the initial step in program development—including an asset map, community demography assessment, market analysis, and logic model—much, if not all, the work has been done by this point. As a result, the task now becomes revisiting the results of each previous activity to determine how to move forward in community resource development.This begins with reviewing the community resources listed on the asset map to become more familiar with each of the existing resources and delve deeper into gaining more specific information about each. As a guide to ensure that you have captured basic standard information for each resource, use the Community Resource Snapshot (Table 7.1). Completing the Community Resource Snapshot may help guarantee that you have adequate information pertaining to each resource that will be necessary in making decisions about potential partnerships. For instance, whereas you may have initially identified an outreach center for homeless adults as a resource, you now will need to know about all the types of services provided there (e.g., warming center, breakfast and lunch served, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings held on-site, basic medical exams), as well as any specific limitations that might exist (e.g., meals not served on Sundays, medical exams available once per month). Possessing information about the outreach center will be essential if you are to recommend this center as a resource for your clients. In addition, this should help guarantee that you have enough general and specific information about each resource to begin making decisions about any potential partnerships that you wish to form with community resources.Table 7.1Community Resource SnapshotProgram/Organization: __________________________________Resource AspectsDetailsType of programming providedLocation(s) and contact personHours of operation/availabilityClient eligibility and fundingStaff qualificationsAdjunctive services (e.g., transportation)Length of time as a providerAccreditation status and other organizational credentialing informationOther informationCompleting the Community Resource Snapshot requires conducting additional research on each of the existing community resources. By doing so, you are able to gain an in-depth understanding of the precise types of existing community resources, thus gaining a better understanding of the demographic makeup of existing community resources and more effectively posturing yourself to make key decisions regarding how you might work directly with specific community resources.After you have thoroughly researched each of the community resources initially identified on the asset map, you must once again take a broad look at the community to ensure that you have captured all its existing resources. By doing this, you are able to account for any new resources that might have emerged following completion of the asset map, guaranteeing that your work in this area has been exhaustive. This level of attention to detail—while at times tedious—can make a world of difference to new program development efforts. By fully understanding the landscape of the community with regard to available resources and by thoughtfully identifying resources with which to potentially partner or align prior to program implementation, you can save yourself a tremendous amount of time during implementation. This time can then be used to oversee all that is involved in program implementation since you will be well equipped with a host of community partners and potential referral sources for your client population. Moreover, this type of long-term planning allows you to better position your program for initial implementation. This is important to both introducing your program/organization as a new participant in the community as well as starting up with a support system of resources that will interact directly with your program in some way.Next, the results of the community demography assessment must be reviewed again. Because this data set provides you with a rich understanding of the characteristics of the community population, you will need to use this to identify specific existing resources that may prove essential partners to your program. For instance, if the majority of the community is Arab-American—Lebanese and Syrian—with a sizeable subpopulation that does not speak English, you will need to identify which community resources exist that can provide translation and other support services to this population.Identifying exactly how you would like to interact with existing community resources also requires revisiting the results of two other key planning activities—the market analysis and the logic model.Because the market analysis provides critical information about competing programs, this information can be especially helpful in deciding how you might expand your treatment and/or services through the use of specific community resources. Such expansion serves to further differentiate your program from the competition while enabling you to better serve your target population. In addition, by utilizing existing community resources, you can play a key role in strengthening the community from within by helping it become more self-sufficient.Because the logic model articulates the initial program design, it too must be reviewed to determine if any of the identified services or interventions can or should be provided by existing community resources. For instance, consider that you have designed a treatment program for elderly women with substance addiction. Included in the design is an activity-based component to promote social connections through recreation and other types of interpersonal activities. In order to meet this need, you may decide to explore a partnership with a local daycare organization so that your elderly clients can choose to participate as volunteers or as employees to facilitate a variety of recreational (e.g., reading, play) or other types of activities (e.g., feeding). By partnering in this way with the local daycare, your clients are able to take advantage of another type of treatment intervention while both your program and the daycare receive mutual benefit. Because this type of partnership is mutually rewarding, it can be adopted with no additional cost to your program. More importantly, by facilitating this type of partnership within your community, you expand the social support networks of both the elderly population that you are treating and the children being served by the daycare. This type of community collaboration is often essential to community development efforts that may further strengthen a community. The challenge then is gaining an expansive enough view of community resources to recognize all the possible partnership opportunities currently existing within the community.As the above examples are meant to illustrate, there are numerous ways in which your program may interact with existing community resources. Possibilities include, but are not limited to,direct partnerships wherein the community resource provides an intervention or service to your clients through a collaborative arrangement,formally linking your clients with a community resource through direct referral to provide additional treatment and/or services that you do not provide, andinformally providing information about the community resource to your clients as an additional resource.Each of these allows your clients to receive enhanced treatment and/or services as a result of an extended scope of treatment and/or services, and this is precisely what is needed in the 21st century as we continue to fulfill the charge of creating comprehensive treatment and service systems.Engaging Community ResourcesInitial Relationship BuildingEngaging community resources means approaching the leader(s) of each organization that holds the desired resource(s) and discussing the various ways in which you believe your organizations may work together. As with any potential partnership, the key lies in ensuring mutual benefit to both organizations, thus the term partnership. Therefore, a major part of the initial discussion should focus on potential benefits of the partnership. Because in most cases new efforts to work specifically with a community resource result in new business for the organization holding the resource, this is not a difficult message to convey. In addition to the straightforward benefit of increased business that the organization seeks to gain, other significant benefits of such partnerships should also be illuminated.These other benefits include three of the five issues identified at the chapter’s beginning, which consist of building an advocacy coalition, engaging in long-term sustainability planning, and strengthening communities from within by recognizing and utilizing existing resources. Whereas these were initially discussed as benefits of incorporating community resources into new program development efforts, they apply almost equally to benefits provided to the organizations holding the community resources. As such, a minimum of two organizations in the community (i.e., yours and the community resource) can gain from these types of partnerships, while the community itself continues to be further strengthened. In addition, while the partnership may result in financial growth for the other organization, it may also lead to opportunities for the partnership to garner additional funding—another of the key benefits listed previously.Once adequate work has been done to initially develop the partnership, concrete methods for how the two organizations will interact should be clearly identified. In addition, plans for maintaining regular communication between program coordinators and other relevant staff should be established. The frequency of meeting times should be dependent on the type of partnership (core programming partner vs. referral source).Whereas you can likely imagine that making time to maintain regular contact should be one of the easier tasks to manage, it is the one most often neglected. This probably has little to do with program leaders and staff not wanting to maintain regular contact and more to do with prioritizing this as having similar value to other operational activities. As a result, the significance of such contact must be reinforced, and the program developer/leaders must take full responsibility for ensuring that this happens.The benefits of regular contact can be many. At the basic level, frequent communication can promote open communication and a climate in which any potential issues can be quickly resolved. This type of quick resolution not only reduces stress on both organizations but often has the added effect of strengthening the partnership. In addition, regular contact can ensure that the partnership is proceeding as leaders initially anticipated, and it provides a venue for discussing new opportunities or threats, need for specific advocacy, and other potential shared goals or activities. Most significantly, regular communication promotes preservation of the relationship/partnership and may work to strengthen the relationship in its earliest stages, when it’s needed most.Initial Preservation EffortsEfforts at preserving relationships with community resources are often imperative to maintaining a program’s success; therefore, more work must often be invested in preserving these relationships than was initially required to develop them. The manner in which the partnership was initially developed may indeed set the stage for the long-term relationship, and as mentioned above, maintaining regular contact is often a necessity to preserving the relationship.However, there are many other issues that must be kept in mind to ensure that these relationships are preserved. In addition to each of the benefits identified earlier in the chapter, preserving relationships with community resources allows your organization to maintain its own support network, keeps you connected to other issues that may indirectly or directly impact your business, and may provide you with ongoing opportunities for new business. Each of these benefits is of significant value, particularly in a business that is characterized by all the stress related to constantly shrinking dollars and frequent—and often tumultuous—change. Indeed, with the attendant challenges that often accompany this equally rewarding work, close relationships with those that share in your community may be exactly what sustains you, both literally and figuratively.Because preserving relationships with community resources has specific relevance to program implementation and sustainability, an entire chapter is devoted to this second part of community resource work (Chapter 13). So we will leave the discussion about preserving relationships here for now and pick it up again later.SummaryCommunity resource development is essential to program development efforts. More to the point, engagement with community resources may prove one of the most valuable activities in which you engage during the program planning phase. There are various types of relationships that you may develop with community resources. These include developing direct partnerships wherein the community resource provides an intervention or service to your clients through a collaborative arrangement, formally linking your clients with the community resource through direct referral to provide treatment and/or services that you do not provide, and providing information about the community resource to your clients as an additional resource. Engaging in any of these types of relationships constitutes a partnership of some form in which both organizations benefit from the relationship. As such, there is a good deal of significance generated from such relationships.Moreover, there are numerous benefits that may be achieved through engagement with community resources, including augmenting your program’s service array, contributing to the development of an advocacy coalition, better equipping your program/organization to garner new and/or additional funding, contributing to the long-term sustainability of your program, and strengthening the community from within.Consistent with the previous steps in this model, community resource development builds on work completed in earlier steps. Therefore, information generated by the community demography assessment, asset map, market analysis, and logic model is used to guide resource development efforts. This again illustrates the program development process as a highly structured, data-driven activity—one in which chance and guesswork have no place but in which purposeful and methodical work guide the process.CASE ILLUSTRATIONRanee and Paul had just completed the entire design of a program (i.e., program design, staffing structure) for children with serious emotional and mental health disorders and their families. The program objectives were to provide comprehensive family-focused treatment to these children and their families through an integrated approach that involved both in-office and community-based interventions. Both had worked in the community for some time—Ranee in an outpatient clinic and Paul in a foster care program. In addition, they had each previously worked with the target population—not as part of their primary work but, more often, when children’s mental health was a secondary treatment issue of a child and/or family being treated. As a result of their past experience in the community and their at least minimal exposure to the target population, they felt that they were aware of several of the community’s existing resources. More importantly, having completed the asset map earlier, they now felt confident that they had a comprehensive view of all the current resources that might be useful to their new program.But they needed to consider the manner in which specific resources might directly interact with their program, and they also needed to gain deeper knowledge about each of the most relevant resources. To begin to explore this much more thoroughly, Paul and Ranee sat down together to review the initial list of resources and cull all the ones that they considered potential candidates with whom to develop specific relationships. Ranee found herself needing to really think broadly about each resource and its potential interactions with their program, thus causing her to be cautious in not simply eliminating a resource because of the apparent differences it might have. For instance, Ranee initially had automatically reached to eliminate an animal shelter because neither she nor Paul could see the relevance of it to their program. However, after allowing a moment to think it through, they both realized that the shelter may indeed have a pivotal role to play in augmenting their treatment program. Specifically, Paul began to explore the idea of interpersonal skill development through caring for animals—an emerging treatment strategy for work with at-risk children (Cole, 2005). They realized that the animal shelter might provide the venue in which some of their clients could engage in this type of intervention as part of their individualized treatment plan. As a result, they identified the shelter as a possible partner.During this review of existing community resources, Ranee and Paul also revisited the results of the community demography assessment and market analysis.From this previously compiled data, they culled specific resources that were relevant to the primary target population based on community demographics (e.g., Jewish, Hmong-American) to ensure that they would be able to link clients to culture-specific resources, if needed. After again reviewing the results of the market analysis, they reviewed the existing resources with an eye toward ensuring that their program offered the same minimum services as the competition as well as additional services or aspects that differentiated it from the current providers. As a result of reviewing the list of existing community resources with both of these data points in mind, several additional community resources were culled and added to the list of resources for follow-up. These included such organizations as the local Jewish Community Center, Jewish Vocational Services, several synagogues and Hmong churches, the local Hmong Economic and Social Services Agency, and several other culture-specific organizations. In addition, a few organizations dealing specifically with mentoring services were also identified, particularly because these were part of the enhanced service array provided by one of the main competitors. The previously developed program logic model was also revisited to ensure that community resources that might be used as referral sources could be identified, as well as those that might be used to provide an enhanced service (e.g., recreational facility). Finally, Paul and Ranee did a quick review of the community to ensure that all existing resources had been captured in their initial data collection work and that no new ones had emerged since they completed their work. They were surprised to find that two new resources had indeed emerged in the past 3 months—a group home for developmentally disabled adults and an existing park that had expanded with the addition of outdoor picnic areas and another basketball court.After compiling their list of existing community resources for follow-up, Ranee and Paul split up the list, each agreeing to complete the Community Resource Snapshot for their assigned resources. They then reviewed the information and began to prioritize the resources based on their program needs. In addition, they made preliminary decisions about how they would likely interact with the various resources. From this process, Ranee and Paul were able to identify 23 community resources with whom they were interested in engaging in a more formal relationship for the purposes of working directly in service delivery, mutual use as a referring agent and referral source, providing information about the resource to clients informally (not formal referral), and as part of an initial advocacy coalition.To maintain efficiency, Ranee and Paul split up the job of contacting those organizations about whom they envisioned simply being able to share basic informal information with their clients. They each discussed this with the contact person at the other organizations and requested brochures and other materials that they could make available to their clients. During these conversations, Paul and Ranee also took the time to reintroduce their own program and communicate that this initial business relationship may open potential future opportunities. They assured the other organization leaders that they would keep in close communication.Because of the more partnership-oriented relationships that Ranee and Paul wished to establish with the remaining organizations’ leaders, they decided it was best to meet individually with each of these leaders to discuss these plans. After meeting with leaders from each organization and discussing potential working relationships, Ranee and Paul now had partnerships established between their program and eight of the other organizations. Of these eight partnerships, one had been formed with the Hmong Economic and Social Services Agency, one had been formed with the local animal shelter, and another with the Jewish Community Center. As a secondary treatment intervention when warranted, the clients in Ranee and Paul’s program would be able to spend time playing with and caring for animals in the shelter, an activity that would be cofacilitated by the case manager and a shelter staff person. The Jewish Community Center personnel would work directly with Ranee and Paul to develop a network of support families that would be available for matching client families to provide additional support and mentoring during the treatment program, as well as to expand the families’ existing social support networks well beyond involvement in the program.Throughout the course of these initial engagement meetings, Paul and Ranee were also able to lay out their plans for holding regular forums with the group of involved organizations. These forums would allow for continuous monitoring of the relationships and promote open exchanges of information and would provide the basis of an initial coalition for advocacy and other pursuits.Having completed this step of identifying and engaging community resources, Ranee and Paul felt confident not only that they had an effective plan for utilizing a variety of existing resources but that their program design had been significantly improved as a result. In addition, they felt a sense of empowerment—largely due to the fact that they now had a professional support network of their own. Equally significant, Paul and Ranee felt that their program now was well positioned to pursue funding as a result of this broad-based community collaboration. And while they needed to work first toward securing initial funding for their program, they couldn’t help but realize that as a result of their community resource development efforts, they would likely be able to explore other business opportunities as well.COMMUNITY RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT EXERCISEUsing the Community Resource Snapshot, identify and investigate five existing local community resources that you might use in your own program development project.After you have investigated each resource, answer the following questions:Exactly what type of relationship will you pursue with this resource?In what ways will your program benefit from this relationship?Given the five resources you have identified for developing a specific relationship, how will you maintain communication with each?In addition to your response to Question 1, in what other ways do you envision working with these resources?
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